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Saint of the Day for 23 May: St. Desiderius of Langres

St. Desiderius of Langres: Life, Martyrdom and Legacy of the Holy Bishop


St. Desiderius of Langres


Bishop and martyr


3rd century , Genoa


4th century, Langres


23 May


O God, who in the glorious martyrdom of St. Desiderius the bishop gave us a sign of your loving presence in the Church, grant that we who trust in his intercession may imitate him in steadfastness of faith. Through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Patron of

Assago, Castelnuovo Scrivia, Correzzana, Sellero, San Didero, Sali Vercellese

Roman Martyrology

Near Langres, France, the passion of Saint Desiderius the Bishop, who, seeing that his people were being torn apart by the army of the Vandals, presented himself to their king to plead on their behalf. Having then ordered the king that they should at once slaughter him, he willingly stretched out his neck for the sheep entrusted to him, and, beaten by the sword, flew away to Christ. He also suffered with him many others belonging to his flock, who were buried near the same city.

The Saint and Mission

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St. Desiderius of Langres is an extraordinary figure in Church history whose commitment and dedication to his mission left an indelible mark. As bishop of Langres in the 3rd century, Desiderius distinguished himself for his tireless work of evangelization and his courage in defending the Christian faith in times of persecution. His mission was to guide his flock with wisdom and courage, keeping the flame of faith alive despite threats and difficulties. Desiderius faced the challenges of his time with unwavering faith, working for the spread of the Gospel and the protection of his community. His life was an example of selfless service, dedicated to educating and supporting the faithful at a time when Christianity was often persecuted. His martyrdom is the ultimate testimony to his commitment: he refused to renounce his faith, even at the cost of his own life. The legacy of St. Desiderius of Langres continues to inspire the faithful, reminding them of the importance of a life lived with integrity, courage and dedication to the Christian mission. His story is a powerful example of how faith can guide and sustain in times of great trial, keeping hope and love for God and neighbor alive.

The Saint and Mercy

St. Desiderius of Langres embodied mercy through his ministry and daily life. As bishop, he cared deeply for the spiritual and material well-being of his flock, showing compassion and care for the most vulnerable. His door was always open to those who needed advice, comfort or practical help. Even in the face of persecution, Desiderius did not hesitate to intercede for his faithful, protecting and guiding them with kindness and wisdom. St. Desiderius’ martyrdom is a testimony to his radical mercy. He chose to stay with his community during a time of intense danger rather than seek personal safety. His willingness to face death rather than abandon his faithful is a powerful example of sacramental love and total dedication to others. St. Desiderius’ legacy continues to inspire, reminding believers that true mercy is active and courageous, manifesting itself in selfless service and defense of human dignity. His life and sacrifice invite us to reflect on how we can live mercy every day, even in the most difficult circumstances.


Not of one, but of two Desiderius the calendars, or rather the Roman Martyrology, commemorate today, because neither saint is marked in the Calendar of the Universal Church. These two Saints named Desiderius could be twin brothers: both French, both Bishops, both Martyrs. However, a distance of exactly two centuries divides them, for the first was killed in 407, while the other fell two hundred years later, in 607…


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