Portal:Catholicism/Patron Archive/July 15 2007
Some evidence exists for an otherwise unknown child-martyr named Cyricus at Antioch. It is believed that the legends about Saints Quiricus and Julietta refer to him. There are places named after Cyricus in Europe and the Middle East, but without the name Julitta attached. Cyricus is the Saint-Cyr found in many French toponyms. The cult of these saints was strong in France after Saint Amator, Bishop of Auxerre, brought relics back from Antioch in the 4th century. It is said that Constantine I discovered their relics originally and built near Constantinople a monastery, and not far off from Jerusalem was built a church. In the 6th century the Acts of Cyricus and Julitta were rejected in a list of apocryphal documents by the pseudo-Gelasius, called as such since the list was erroneously attributed to Pope Saint Gelasius I.
According to legend, Julietta and her three-year (sometimes described as three-month) old Cyricus had fled to Tarsus and were identified as Christians. Julietta was tortured, and her three year old son, being held by the governor of Tarsus, scratched the governor's face and was killed by being thrown down some steps. Julietta did not weep but celebrated the fact that her son had earned the crown of martyrdom. In anger, the governor then decreed that Julietta’s sides should be ripped apart with hooks, and then she was beheaded. The bodies of she and Cyricus were flung outside the city, on the heap of bodies belonging to criminals, but the two maids rescued the corpses of the mother and child and buried them in a nearby field.
Attributes: From the story involving Charlemagne, Cyricus is depicted as a naked child riding on a wild boar.
Patronage: Prayed to for family happiness, and the restoring to health of sick children.