St. Saturninus was sent from Rome, under Pope Fabian, to preach the faith in Gaul around the year 245. He became the first bishop of Toulouse, and founded a small church there when he arrived, converting many through his preaching.
The path to his church crossed in front of the capitol, where there was a pagan temple. The pagan priests believed that their oracles were silenced by his frequent presence, and one day, they seized him and tried to make him submit to their gods. Saturninus refused, saying, “I know but one God, and to Him I will offer the sacrifice of praise. How can I fear gods, who, as you say, are afraid of me?”
The pagan priests were preparing to sacrifice a bull, and when they heard Saturninus’ words, they fastened him to the bull and drove it down the capitol. The bill dragged him around town until Saturninus had died. Two devout women gathered the saint’s remains and buried them deep underground so the pagans could not profane his grave.
Saturninus was succeeded in Toulouse by Sts. Hilary and Exuperius, who gave him a more honorable burial. They built a church where the bull had stopped, which still exists, and is called the Church of the Taur (Bull). Saturninus’ body was moved to the Church of St. Sernin (or Saturninus) in Southern France, where it remains today.
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