St. Eulogius of Cordova
March 11, 2023
Eulogius was born sometime during the ninth century. There are records showing that he was a priest during the year 848. He was highly respected among the Christian communities of Catalonia and Navarre, Spain. Eulogius had five brothers, and all received an excellent education, thanks to their noble birth. His youngest brother, Joseph, had a position in the high court of Abd-er-Rahman II. Two other brothers, Isidore and Alvarus, were merchants who had large-scale operations that reached as far as central Europe. He had two sisters, Niola and Anulona. Anulona was educated in a monastery and later became a nun.
Eulogius studied in the monastery of St. Zoilus, while living at home where he could care for his mother. One master under whom Eulogius studied was Abbot Speraindeo, a famous writer of the time. One of his fellow students was Alvarus Paulus. Alvarus married, and Eulogius went on to become a priest, ordained by Bishop Recared of Cordova. Alvarus later wrote about his friend, Eulogius, stating that he was: “from his infancy devoted to the Scriptures, and growing daily in the practice of virtue, he quickly reached perfection, surpassed in knowledge all his contemporaries, and became the teacher even of his masters. Mature in intelligence, though in body a child, he excelled them all in science even more than they surpassed him in years. Fair in feature, honest and honorable, he shone by his eloquence, and yet more by his works. What books escaped his avidity for reading? What works of Catholic writers, of heretics and gentiles, chiefly philosophers? Poets, historians, rare writings, all kinds of books, especially sacred hymns, in the composition of which he was a master, were read and digested by him; his humility was none the less remarkable and he readily yielded to the judgment of others less learned than himself.”
Eulogius gave us a clear picture of Spanish Christianity in his day. From his writings between 848 and 859, we have important details about the faith and the martyrs during the Saracenic persecution.
Eulogius was elected Archbishop of Toledo and shortly thereafter was martyred for his faith by being beheaded.
As his friend Alvarus stated, Eulogius was indeed a great intellect and devoted Christian. Even with his noble background and education, his devotion to Christ kept him humble and he served his Lord in the most mighty way, not only by living the life of a Christian but by laying down his life for his faith.
Saint Eulogius, pray for us, that we may be ever mindful that all our gifts come from God, that we not be prideful, but willing always to follow His lead. Amen.
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image: painting of Eulogius by Anton Hermann in the Church of the Holy Cross, Horb am Neckar / photo by Andreas Praefcke / Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)