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The secular celebration of Halloween is full of witches, magicians and sorcerers. This is far from the original celebration of All Hallows’ Eve as the Eve of All Saints, but October 31 is also the feast day of a fascinating saint.
His name was Quentin and he was an early Christian who died in the late 3rd century. It is believed that he was a Roman citizen from a wealthy family. Eventually Quentin renounced his way of life and became a missionary, spreading the good news of Jesus Christ.
Quentin became known for his powerful preaching and for healing the sick. Local officials were alerted to this man, and he was thrown into prison.
He remained steadfast in his faith, even when threatened with execution. At first he was sent to be tortured, but more miracles happened that prevented it. Msgr. Paul Guérin relates the story in a 19th-century compilation of saint legends.
[Quentin] was stretched on the rack and flogged. He prayed for strength, for the honor and glory of the name of God, forever blessed. He was returned to the prison when the executioners who were striking him fell over backwards, and told Rictiovarus they were unable to stand up, and could scarcely speak.
After Quentin was returned to prison, “an Angel released the prisoner during the night, telling him to go and preach in the city.”
When the local official caught up with him, he was furious, but also thought Quentin was a sorcerer on account of all the miracles, and that those he preached to were also sorcerers..
Rictiovarus was furious and said to them: “You, too, have become magicians?” [Quentin was] brought back before the tribunal as a sorcerer.
Quentin credited everything to Jesus Christ, which further infuriated the official. He was finally executed October 31, 287, and his feast day, though not celebrated on the general calendar, remains on that day.
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