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DIONYSIUS Denis or Denys of Paris d. 250?. According to the oldest passio BHL 2171, ca. 250? Dionysius was sent to Gaul by Pope Clement, St. Peter’s successor, to evangelize the people there. He preached at Paris, where he was beheaded, as attested by Venantius Fortunatus carm. 11 and Gregory of Tours hist. 1,30; the latter, however, puts his martyrdom at the time of Decius 249 250. The Gallican version of Mart. hier. Japan Subway Map puts his feast 9 October and makes Rusticus and Eleutherus his companions in martyrdom. At St. Genevi¨ve’s initiative, in the 5th c. a basilica was built over Dionysius’s tomb, in which the Merovingian kings were later buried. A second Passion BHL 2178, written ca. 800, identified Dionysius with Dionysius the Areopagite, St. Paul’s disciple At 17,34, making him a headless martyr a very popular motif in iconography.

In the life BHL 2175 of Abbot Hilduin 814840 he was identified with the author of mystical works known as the Areopagite. This life became canonical for the entire Middle Ages, though even then some scholars e.g., Abelard had doubts. BHL 2172-2203; BS 4, 650-661; LMA 3, 1077-1079; BBKL 1, 1325-1326; R.J. Loenertz, La Lgende parisienne de S. Denys l’Areopagite: AB 69 1951 217-237; M. Zender, Die Verehrung des hl. D. v. P. in Kirche und Volk: Festschrift F. Petri, Bonn 1970, 528-551.

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