Today’s memorial takes us to Montmartre, the Mount of Martyrs in Paris. Malouel’s painting of the martyrdom of Saint Denis (1416) depicts the sacrifice of Christ, the King of Martyrs, at the center. The outstretched arms of the Eternal Father, partially hidden behind the cross, suggest that one can know the embrace of the Father only in the arms of the Crucified. At the same time, the arms of the Father receive the offering of the Son.
Blood and water are gushing abundantly from the pierced side of the Son, the hands, and the feet of Jesus. His Precious Blood runs onto the earth where it mingles with blood of Saint Denis to sanctify the hill that will come to be known as Montmartre, the Mount of the Martyrs.
On the left, Our Lord Himself brings Holy Communion as Viaticum to Saint Denis in prison. On the right, we see the cruel beheading of Saint Denis while his deacon Eleutherius looks on in sorrow.
It is recounted that, after his martyrdom, Saint Denis continued to preach, holding his head in his hands. The martyrs do,