Denis, also known as Dionysius, was an Athenian, one of the judges of the Court of Areopagus, well versed in the errors of the Gentiles. There is a tradition that on the day when the Lord Christ was nailed to the Cross, Denis, observing the unnatural eclipse of the sun, exclaimed, Either the God of Nature is suffering or else the mechanism of the universe is breaking up. When Paul the Apostle proclaimed Christ in the Areopagus, Denis embraced the Christian faith and was appointed by the same Apostle to rule over the church in Athens. Afterward, the tradition continueth, he went to Rome and was sent by Pope Clement to France. With the priest Rusticus and the deacon Eleutherius as his companions Denis preached the Gospel in Paris. There, because they had preached, all three were arrested by the Prefect Fescennius, tortured with racks and other instruments, and finally beheaded on the 9th day of October.
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