"Saint Eulalia," John William Waterhouse," 1885, Tate Britain, London, Wikipedia photo.
“Saint Eulalia,” John William Waterhouse,” 1885, Tate Britain, London, Wikipedia photo.

Angels wept, mourning laments, tortured death
Of Eulalia, child of respected Spanish family.
A gentle girl of thirteen, virgin pure, who by
Prayerful songs of faith, preferred modest
Country life, earthly paradise, when accepting
Christ as her Savior, circa AD three-hundred four.

Victim of religious tumult, Diocletian decree,
Eulalia and other followers of her day were
Forced to renounce Christian faith for imposed
Loyalty to pagan gods. Confronted by orders of
Dacian of Merida, she would either deny Christ
Or face persecution by Roman soldiers armed
With tenterhooks, threats of deathly fire.

Dacian wanted no harm to come young Eulalia.
First, he suffered her with flattery to reach a
Child’s mind, then bribes, both she shunned,
Refusing to deny her Lord. Dacian ordered torture,
Roman soldiers against a teenage girl, though no
Strife existed twixt Christ and declining pagan gods,
Twelve disciples, ardent followers of ancient deities.

Dacian ordered Eulalia stripped to her waist, for
Soldiers to insert iron hooks into her breasts,
Youthful flesh yielding, pain of exposed ribs. When
She again refused to deny Christ, he ordered fire
To burn her shameful wounds. Tortured, Eulalia
Remained steadfast to Christ the King, engulfed
In flames, dying martyr in Christian purity.

Grieving Eulalia’s death, early Christians waved
Palm branches, heavenly snow fell, covering her
Mutilated body, strength against persecution,
World’s wrongs, fire mixed with bloody flesh,
Smoke upwreathing, her young soul, white dove,
Flew to heavenly heights, child martyr, virtuous
Saint of early Christian church, Lily of Snow.

Why do I write on difficult subjects, such as martyred death of a thirteen year-old girl? Religious atrocities against women continue today. Perhaps early child-saints have been forgotten, their acts of faith lost to time, yet worthy of remembrance through poetry and painting.  

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