Saint Eustace

Feast Day September 20

St. Eustace was a pagan by birth and his name was Placidus. As a general in the Roman army under Trajan, he had great successes in battle. He and his wife were very charitable to the poor. One day while hunting, he saw a crucifix between the antlers of a stag and heard Christ speak, telling him to be baptized. because of his charity to others, Christ showed charity to him. He was converted and took the name Eustace. Eventually he lost his wealth and property. He then worked for a farmer for 15 years but was called back to the Roman army and won a great victory over Persia. Emperor Hadrian who succeeded Trajan held a pagan celebration. When Eustace refused to take part, he with his wife and two sons were put to death in the year 118.

St. Eustace is the patron of huntsmen and sword cutlers and is the protector of the cities of Madrid and Paris. He is invoked in various difficult situations in life and is pictured as a huntsman with a stag at his side.