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Saint Eulalia of Mérida

The maiden of the snow...


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Virgin and Martyr -(d. ca. 304)

Her life

+ Eulalia was born around the year 290 in Mérida, Spain.

+ When a persecution of Christians erupted under the emperor Dacian, Eulalia’s mother sent her into the country, hoping to protect her daughter from the violence.

+ According to tradition, Eulalia made her way back to the city and publicly proclaimed her faith.

+ The girl was seized by soldiers, stripped of her clothing, and tortured, before being tied to a stake to be burned. The legend continues that, after she died of smoke inhalation, a miraculous fall of snow covered her nakedness, covering her body in a like a white blanket, symbolizing her purity.

+ Saint Eulalia became one of the most honored saints in Spain and her shrine in Mérida remains a favorite place of pilgrimage. She is honored as one of the patron saints of Spain.

Spiritual bonus

Honored alongside Saint Eulalia is another young girl from Mérida: Saint Julia. Killed in the same persecution, probably in the same year, Julia is also celebrated on December 10.


“This truly is a Martyr, who shed her blood for the name of Christ, who did not fear the threats of judges but attained the heavenly kingdom.”—Entrance Antiphon for the Mass of One Martyr


God, who gladden us today with the annual commemoration of blessed Eulalia, graciously grant that we may be helped by her merits, just as our lives are lit up by the splendor of her example of chastity and fortitude. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal: Common of Martyrs—For a Virgin Martyr)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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