Saint Denis has been cherished for centuries. He was the role model and the patron saint people needed. Having been sent to Lutetia, what eventually became the city of Paris, by Pope Clemet I, Saint Denis was sent to preach the word of God. However, the emperor of Rome was worried by all the conversions and sent Saint Denis along with Rusticus and Eleutherius to be persecuted at Mont Mars, which is now known as Montmartre for the martyrs. This persecution has brought people to Paris and Saint Denis ever since his death. The pilgrimage has brought people from all over to see his tomb and be in the presence of Saint Denis. The Website illustrates the change over time to Saint Denis in the link is below.
Veneration to Saint Denis’ death began soon after he was martyred. The pilgrimages have brought civilization to the area, and who were traveling just to visit the grave stayed and made a new home in the town. It is amazing to see the monumental change of Saint-Denis. Saint Denis was also commemorated with the Saint Denis fair on October 9, his anniversary. Weekly market fairs were held within and outside of the city depending on the size of the good being exchanged. Travelers came from all over to the trade fairs to exchange crafts and goods, which helped modernized the city fairly quickly.
What passion it must have taken to build this great basilica for someone cherished. It reminds me of the Megaliths in Morbihan where the people moved stones weighing tons across the earth to commemorate their loved ones’ deaths. Love is a strong motivation. The people loved Saint Denis for his compassion and sincerity. I have always been told that history repeats itself, and it is completely true just by observing the megaliths and the patron saint of France. People dedicated their lives to building something they saw fit for their loved one’s death. And as we can see once again, death is honored and acknowledged. The basilica of Saint Denis became the burial grounds for not only Saint Denis but also for kings of France to come. It is amazing to see the change in peoples’ hearts and minds. Saint Denis was cherished among the land, yet people persecuted him and he along with his others were beheaded. Though, through rumor, after he was beheaded, he carried his head across the land still preaching the Gospel.