Monday, 14 December 2020

évêque de reims

Credited with prophesizing the invasion and saving a significant number of the city’s citizens—depending on one’s sources of either the Vandals in 407 or the Huns fifty years later—Bishop Nicasius (Nicaise) who established the first cathedral of Rheims lured the marauders to the church as the main repository of plunder, affording more people the chance to escape is venerated on this day. Along with some faithful companions, Nicasius was beheaded at the altar, his matyrdom grouping him with the cephalophores—head-bearers, praying as the ax came for him, reportedly from Psalm 119, finishing the verse after being decapitated and frightening the attackers into temporary retreat. Having earlier in his career, survived a bout of smallpox and attributing his recovery to piety and prayer, the Church made him patron and protector of the disease.