Evildoers Prosper and Even Tempt God with Impunity
The Prophet Joel

St. Denis - Martyr and Window into Gothic Architecture

38550992.StDenisDetailonNotreDa We know so little about St. Denis (bishop of Paris martyred c. 250 AD in the Roman persecutions) that it might be a good opportunity to take some time on his feastday to learn about our Catholic heritage.

St. Denis is shown in iconography carrying his own mitred-head. There was a legend that after his martyrdom on Montmarte, he walked (and preached) to the site of the current Basilica named in his honor. Montmarte (mountain of martyr) derives its name from St. Denis' martyrdom.

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart sits high atop Montmarte and is notable not only for its striking domes, but for the continuous Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on the main altar since 1885.

The Basilica of St. Denis, one of the earliest examples of Gothic architecture, is noted for its beautiful stained glass windows and for being the burial place of French kings.

So much of the sacred and secular geography of Montmarte and environs takes shape around the death of St. Denis

The church needs martyrs ("the weak who are made strong" by the Lord) to witness to the truth of the Gospel in every age. An unflinching look at St. Denis carrying his head may give us a bit of courage before our morning coffee.