Legend says Quentin died a martyr in France
Two of his companions met a similar fate, not long after him
By Tony Staley
Who: Missionary and martyr
When: died 287
Feast: Oct. 31
Patron: Bombardiers, chaplains, locksmiths, porters, tailors, surgeons.
St. Quentin comes from a long line of saints about whom little is known. What is known is legend that some scholars question. But Quentin (sometimes called Quintinus) also comes from a short list - the less than a dozen saints whose names start with "Q." However, given that what we know of him is legend, he seems a perfect saint for Halloween - his feast day.
Quentin was a Roman citizen, son of Zeno, a Roman senator. As a committed Christian, Quentin wanted to be a missionary. In about 250, he was sent to Gaul (present day France and Belgium) with St. Lucian of Beauvais, who was possibly a companion of St. Dionysius (or Denis), the first Bishop of Paris.
Quentin went to Amiens, in northern France. There, Quentin became well known for winning converts through his preaching and miracle-working.
Rictiovarus, the prefect there, had Quentin arrested and tortured. Then he had him handcuffed and taken to the town of Augusta Veromanduorum, where Quentin was again tortured before he was tossed into the dungeon. Eventually, he was beheaded and his body was thrown into the Somme River.
A chapel was built nearby and, in 641, St. Eligius, a bishop and the patron of goldsmiths, is said to have found Quentin's hair and teeth and the nails used to torture him.
Eligius built a shrine for the relics, which were later placed under the high altar in the Noyon cathedral in France. Later, they were moved to Laon, where they still are today.
Augusta Veromanduorum, where St. Quentin was martyred, was renamed Saint-Quentin in his honor and is a community of about 60,000 people in northern France.
Ss. Fuscian and Victoricus are said to have been missionary companions of St. Quentin. They were on their way to meet Quentin when they met Gentian, near Amiens and were told that Quentin had been martyred six weeks earlier.
Rictiovarus heard about Fuscian and Victoricus and sent soldiers to arrest them. When his soldiers asked Gentian about the two missionaries, though, he refused to tell them anything and was beheaded. Fuscian and Victoricus were eventually captured and beheaded as well. All three men were said to have been buried at Saint-Fuscien (named in Fuscian's honor).
In the sixth century, Bishop Honoratus of Amiens is said to have found the relics of the three men. There are statues of Fuscian and Victoricus at the entrance to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Amiens, which is the tallest complete cathedral in France.
Sources: Dictionary of Saints, Catholic Online, www.saintpatrickdc.org and www.wikipedia.com