Eulalia of Barcelona

Saint Eulalia of Barcelona
Barcelona Cathedral Interior - Crypt of Santa Eulalia.jpg
Tomb of Saint Eulalia in the crypt of Barcelona Cathedral
Bornc. 290
Barcelona, Hispania (Spain)
Diedc. 303 (aged 12–13)
Barcelona, Hispania
Venerated inRoman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy
Major shrineCathedral of Santa Eulàlia, Barcelona
FeastFebruary 12 (August 22 in the Orthodox Church)
AttributesX-shaped cross, stake, and dove
PatronageBarcelona, Spain; sailors; against [1]

Saint Eulalia (Aulaire, Aulazia, Olalla, Eulària) (c. 290–12 February 303), co-patron saint of Barcelona, was a 13-year-old Roman Christian virgin who suffered martyrdom in Barcelona during the persecution of Christians in the reign of emperor Diocletian (although the Sequence of Saint Eulalia mentions the "pagan king" Maximian). There is some dispute as to whether she is the same person as Saint Eulalia of Mérida, whose story is similar.[1]


Painting in Barcelona Cathedral of St. Eulalia with the X-shaped "cross saltire"
Relief of Eulalia in the Cathedral of Santa Eulàlia.

Eulalia lived near the city of Barcelona. During the persecutions under Diocletian, governor Dacian arrived in the city intent on enforcing the decrees. Eulalia went to the city and confronted the governor, denouncing him for his persecution of Christians. Dacian had her stripped and beaten with rods. She was subsequently subjected to a variety of torture. Her wounds were burned with torches, but the flames blew back against her tormenters. She prayed that God would take her to heaven, and then died.[2]

A dove is supposed to have flown forth from her mouth following her death. A sudden snowstorm then covered her body like a garment.[2]

For refusing to recant her Christianity, the Romans subjected her to a number of tortures; including: crucifixion on an X-shaped cross. She is depicted with this cross as the instrument of her martyrdom.

Stylized X-shaped Cross of Santa Eulàlia in L'Hospitalet