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Passio: The Passion of Sainte Foy The sixth of October, the Passion of Sainte Foy, virgin and martyr.1 When it comes to relating the merit-filled Passions of the great and illustrious saints Caprais2 and Foy,words do not suffice to lavishon them the praises they deserve. Out of envyfor Christian religion, antiquity wished to remain silent about their deeds and miraclesrather than to leavebehind any monuments with inscriptions that would commend them to some human memory thereafter. I have found agreat deal of information in narrativesof their acts, and I have briefly related a few things about them in astammering style. But where shall I begin, when I know so many praiseworthy things about these most blessed martyrs? I could neither attempt nor complete such a glorious task if I hadn't been fully supplied with the authoritative opinions of the Fathers of the Church and set aflame by the splendor of the ancient poets. For it is easier to recognize the merits of the martyrs Caprais and Foy through their powers than to set forth their praises. My talent is so feeble and barren that I am disheartened, but the intense devotion rooted deep in my heart holds these saints before me as inspiring models. And if my tongue stops performing its function, that is, praising the saints, it shall still be my will to serve them with faithful devotion. Therefore this text of their blessed Passion honors their deeds insofar as God's abundant gifts have allowed me to reach that goal. I have selected a few outstanding things from the great manypages that have been written about them at various times, and I havepresented these things with the same faith and devotion with which knowledge of the martyrs was handed down to us. For the deeds of these saints have not fallen into oblivion but have been remembered by being told. And if particular cities and placesconsider themselves outstanding becausethey possessparticular martyrs, this is only just, becausethese martyrs gave up their lives for the Lord Jesus Christ. Sainte Foywas born of noble parents in the cityofAgen.3 Through her 34 The Passion of Sainte Foy birth she became a very illustrious daughter of that place, but through her death she became its patron. She was noble because she came from an old and high-born family, but she was made more noble by Christ's gift: the glistening white garment of virginity and faith in her Lord Jesus Christ, in which she shone brightly and fragrantly. She was the first in the city of Agen to receivethe crown of amartyr's Passion; she was its glory and its model of a great martyr. Shewished to lose her earthly life in order to have eternal life because from her early childhood she loved the Lord Jesus Christ and said that He had created her. It is reported that she was a young girl at the time of her Passion, but both in her understanding and her actions sheseemed to have the maturity that belongs to advanced age. She was beautiful in appearance, but her mind was more beautiful. When a judge came to a city, it was customary for him to promise his favor and good will to idolaters and to persecute vigorously any Christians that were found. During that time aprefect named Dacian4 entered the city and immediately ordered that blessed Foy be summoned; he directed that she be led into his presence. But when blessed Foy was being brought by his wicked servants she prayed to the Lord, saying, "Lord Jesus Christ, YouWho always aid Your own in every circumstance, be present now with Your handmaiden and supply acceptable words to my mouth, which I may give in answer before this tyrant." And she armed herself with an unconquerable shield, making the sign of the holy cross on her forehead, mouth, and heart, and so she went on with her spirit strengthened. But when Foy stood in the prefect's presence, he spoke gently to her, saying, "What is your name?" Sainte Foy felt no fear. She answered, "I am called Foy." The prefect said, "What faith do you follow?" Blessed Foy replied, "From my earliest youth I have been a Christian, and I serve the Lord Jesus Christ with complete devotion." The prefect said, 'Take the advice required by your beauty and your youth and abandon this religion. Sacrifice to holy Diana, because her cult suits your sex, and I will enrich you...


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