Nicaise, St

Nicaise, St.

(Latin, Nicasius) (1), a Christian martyr who lived in the 3d century, was one of the companions of St. Denis, and received from him the mission of converting to the Christian faith the people who inhabited the territory of the Velocasses (ancient Vexin). Before separating, it is said the apostle of the Parisians conferred upon him the episcopal dignity; but this fact is questioned by some hagiographers. Usnard especially gives to St. Nicaise only the title of priest. Some localities situated between the Oise and the Epte had been evangelized by him, when, the third day after the martyrdom of St. Denis, the prefect, Sisinnius Fescenninus, passed through the village of Ecos, where was found Nicaise, with Quiril and Scubicule, companions of his apostolic labors. The prefect stopped the three evangelists, and, upon their obstinate refusal to sacrifice to idols, had them beheaded, October 11, 285 or 286. A Christian woman, called Pientia, soon after herself a subject for martyrdom, buried the bodies of the martyrs on a small island formed by the Epte, which has since become the borough of Gasny-sur-Epte (vadum Nicasii). It follows then from the acts of these apostles of the Vexin that Nicaise never came as far as Rouen. This city, however, considers him as her first bishop. Since the redaction of the new Breviary of Rouen, his day is celebrated with that of the bishop St. Mellon, the first Sunday of October. The remains of St. Nicaise and of St. Scubicule were, in the 9th century, brought to Meulan, where a church was erected under the invocation of the first of these martyrs, and the body of St. Quirin was transferred to Malmedy, in the diocese of Liege, in Belgium. See Acta Sanctorum, month of October; Godescard, Vies es Saints; Butler, Lives of the Saints.

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