Franciscan Saints




29th May



Blessed Stephen of Narbonne, (formerly a Benedictine abbot) and Raymond of Narbonne [and Blessed William of Arnaud - Dominican]



Martyrs, Inquisitors, First Order



It has been almost impossible to find a record of these two Franciscan Martyrs, Habig has recorded them together; rather I came across an article on a Dominican website mentioning blessed Stephen of Narbonne as a companion of Blessed William of Arnaud. It is quite possible that Raymond of Narbonne was one of the companions since the article does mention that there were some Franciscans among their company.

Habig tells us that blessed Stephen and Raymond were ready to sacrifice their lives in order to return to Christ erring and misled souls, zealously they warned the faithful about the poison of heresy and strengthened the wavering, exhorting the perverted to return to the true Faith.

Having angered the Albigensians, a plot was made against the lives of Blesseds William, Stephen and Raymond and others who were preaching with them.  As they went into Avingnonet, they began preaching fearlessly.  They were lured to the castle of the Count of Toulouse under the false notion of friendship and reconciliation - and they were ambushed.  When they saw the attackers coming, they knelt down and sang the Te Deum, thanking God for the gift of being united to His Son in dying for the truth.  Rescued by some Catholics and brought to the parish church for asylum, Yet, the heretics came in and brutally attacked Blesseds William, Stephen, and Raymond even ripping out the tongue of Blessed. William.

The martyrdom occurred on the eve of the feast of the Ascension in 1242; by their deaths, they shed their blood upon the land of Avignon, and within 40 years, there were practically no heretics left there.  Their lives and deaths show the reality of Christ’s own words:

For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  (Matt. 16:25)

Every year the feast of Blesseds Stephen and Raymond  is kept at Avignon with great solemnity, in 1862 Pope Pius IX approved the feast; all three branches of the Franciscans keep the feast on May 29th.

    Until very recently, a beautiful little ceremony was held in the Church of Our Lady of Miracles on every May 28. It was a night ceremony, in memory of the night martyrdom of William Arnaud and his companions, and it was called "The Ceremony of the Vow." Carrying lighted candles, the people proceeded across the entire width of the church on their knees, praying for forgiveness for the people who committed the massacre (Benedictines, Delaney, Dorcy in Dominican saints in May).



Prayer of the Church


O God, whose love the holy martyrs Stephen and

Raymond and their companions, were inflamed and succumbed to the swords of the Godless

in defence of the Faith, grant, we beseech Thee, that through

their intercession we may remain steadfast in the Faith and ever

love Thee with our whole heart.

Through Christ Our Lord Who liveth and reigneth
Thee and the Holy Spirit,  One God, now and forever.  Amen


Sources :Third order of Penance of St. Dominic, N.D., Dominican Saints in May, Blessed William Arnaud, O.P. & Companians, M.M. "Martyrs of Toulouse", Accessed 23 April 2013,<>


Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois


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Last edited 13/09/2017 07:16 
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