Fructuosus of Tarragona, St.

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Bishop and martyr; d. 259. On being summoned before Aemilianus, Roman Governor of Tarragona, who was enforcing the second edict of the Emperors Valerian and Gallienus against the Christians, he did not hesitate to state that he was a bishop, and he and his two deacons, Augurius and Eulogius, steadfastly refused to offer pagan sacrifice. They were then condemned to be burned alive in the amphitheater of Tarragona. The Acta SS. Fructuosi, Augurii et Eulogii, the earliest documents of the kind for Spain, describe the trial and death of the martyrs in a simple and realistic manner. They have an authentic character, as they are clearly based on the official report filed in the archives of the Roman governor. The veneration of Fructuosus and his deacons began immediately, and their cult spread to Africa. In his Sermon 273, In natali martyrum Fructuosi episcopi, Augurii et Eulogii diaconorum, St. augustine relates that their Acta were read also in the Church at Hippo, and Prudentius employed them as source material for his Peristephanon 6. In the Middle Ages St. Fructuosus of Tarragona was often confused with St. fructuosus of braga (d. 665).

Feast: Jan. 21.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum Jan. 2:239341. m. m. estrade, Sant Fructuós, bisbe de Tarragonai màrtir (Barcelona 1960). t. ruinart, Acta Primorum Martyrum (Paris 1689) 220223. p. franchi de' cavalieri, Note agiografiche 8 (Studi e testi 65; 1935) 127194. g. lazzati, Gli sviluppi della letteratura sui martiri nei primi quattro secoli (Turin 1956). z. garcÍa villa-da, Historia eclesiástica de España, 3 v. in 5 (Madrid 192936) 1:257262. h. h. ward, A Dictionary of Christian Biography, ed. w. smith and h. wace, (London 187787) 2:571572.

[m. r. p. mcguire]