Catholic Saints

Saint Eligius

  • Short, concise biography of Eligius
  • History, Life, Biography, Facts and Information about Eligius
  • Fast, concise facts and information about Saint Eligius
  • What is Saint Eligius the patron of?
  • Date of Death
  • How Saint Eligius is represented in Christian Art
  • Feast Day

Saint Eligius
(aka Eloi or Eloy)

The Patron Saint Eligius

What is the definition and the meaning of the Patron Saints and why were these people chosen to become patrons of causes, professions and countries? The term 'Patron' is used in Christian religions, including the Roman Catholic religion, to describe holy and virtuous men and women who are considered to be a defender of a specific group of people or of a country. There is a patron for virtually every cause, country, profession or special interest. There are two categories of saints: martyrs and confessors. A martyr is one who is put to death for his Christian faith or convictions.

Fast, concise facts and information about Saint Eligius
The following provides fast and concise facts and information:

  • The patron of Goldsmiths, Blacksmiths, Horses, Taxi Drivers  and Mechanics
  • Born: c.588, Chaptelat, Limoges in Aquitaine (now France)
  • Memorial Day / Feast Day: December 1st
  • Date of Death: Saint Eligius died in A.D. 659
  • Cause of Death: Natural causes

Who or what is Saint Eligius the patron saint of?
Saint Eligius is the patron of Goldsmiths, Blacksmiths, Horses, Taxi Drivers  and Mechanics. Meanings, definition and origins - a patron is considered to be a defender of a specific group of people or of a nation. There is a patron for virtually every cause, profession or special interest. Prayers are considered more likely to be answered by asking a patron for intercession on their behalf.

The Story and History of Eligius
The story and history of Eligius. Eligius of Noyon or Eloy (or in French, Eloi). St. Eligius is the patron of Noyon, of which city he was made bishop. Eligius, or Eloi, as a young man was apprenticed to the master of the mint at Limoges. He became an extremely accomplished metal worker specialising as a goldsmith. His reputation as an honest and accomplished goldsmith attracted the nobles of the land and eventually the French King Dagobert. He rose in importance at the French court and eventually became the chief counsellor of King Dagobert. He used his position to obtain alms (money or goods) for the poor and obtained money to to ransom captives who were being sold as slaves.  

Death of Saint Eligius
There are two categories of saints: martyrs and confessors. A Christian martyr is regarded as one who is put to death for his Christian faith or convictions. Confessors are people who died natural deaths. Date of Death: Saint Eligius died in A.D. 659. Cause of Death: Natural causes. 

Why is Saint Eligius the patron of Goldsmiths, Blacksmiths, Horses, Taxi Drivers  and Mechanics?
Why is Saint Eligius is the patron of Goldsmiths, Blacksmiths, Horses, Taxi Drivers  and Mechanics? Because of his former occupation as a goldsmith. Farriers and blacksmiths claim him for their patron on account of the following astounding legend. One day, when a horse was required to be shod, he plunged and kicked so much, that it was said he had the devil in him. St. Eligius was then appealed to, but instead of exorcising the devil he quietly cut off the animal's leg, placed it on an anvil and shod it properly, after which he replaced the leg by merely making the sign of the Cross. The passing of time and introduction of new technology has led to the replacement of many jobs related to horses. But the patronage of the people who do those jobs and work in those places has remained, hence Saint Eligius is now the patron of Taxi divers and mechanics.

How Saint Eligius is represented in Christian Art
It is helpful to be able to recognise Saint Eligius in paintings, stained glass windows, illuminated manuscripts, architecture and other forms of Christian art. The artistic representations reflect the life or death of saints, or an aspect of life with which the person is most closely associated. Saint Eligius is represented in Christian Art either in Episcopal robes, holding a book in one hand, and a hammer or tongs in the other; or in a short artisan's dress with hammer and tongs. At his feet, in either case, are anvil, bellows, and other implements of the blacksmith's, locksmith's or metal-worker's craft.

Feast Day of Saint Eligius
The Feast Day of Saint Eligius is December 1st. The origin of Feast Days: most saints have specially designated feast days and are associated with a specific day of the year and these are referred to as the saint's feast day. The feast days first arose from the very early Christian custom of the annual commemoration of martyrs on the dates of their deaths at the same time celebrating their birth into heaven.

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