Saints & Martyrs

Saint Valerie

Valerie of Limoges (3rd c.), virgin and martyr. According to legend, Valerie was converted to Christianity by Saint Martial of Limoges, and was later beheaded for refusing to marry Duke Steven. After her beheading, Valerie supposedly carried her head to Saint Martial and presented it to him.

Excerpt from The Golden Legend

[O]n a time died the holy woman Susanna, and [before] her death she recommended to [St. Martial] her daughter, [who] was called [Valerie], which had promised and avowed to our Lord chastity as long as she lived. After, when the holy maid knew that there should come to Limoges a lord named Steven, [who] was lord of all the province from the river of Rhone unto the sea, she was sore afraid lest he would do to her any grief or [annoyance] against her vow, and gave away all her riches to poor folk for the love of God.

When the said Steven was come to Limoges, he made to do come [before] him the holy maid, to the end to have his will of her; but when she was come and he saw that she would not consent to do his will, anon he made her head to be [cut] off. Then the squire that beheaded her heard the angels sing, [who bore] the soul of the holy virgin into heaven, with much great joy and solemnity, and anon he returned unto his master and told him all that he had seen and heard, and [then] fell down dead at his feet. Then the duke and all his company had much great dread, and the duke himself clad him next his flesh in a sharp hair and hard, for great repentance...

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