San Piato, Tournai, Priest and Martyr
Roman Martyrology: At Seclin in Gallia Belgica, now in France, St. Piato, revered as a Priest, Evangelist and Martyr of the territory of Tournai.
The Roman Martyrology, 1 Oct., Says that Piato was a priest who, starting in Rome, arrived in Gaul, with Quentin and his companions, to preach the Gospel.
Having been assigned Tournai as a field of his apostolate, there he was martyred during the persecution of Maximin. This news comes from Usuard, which, by its wording, was inspired to passive Piatonis, which we discuss later, and says that Piato was fellow of St. Dionysius. The name of this saint is also found in some supplement to the martyrology Geronimo must add that in 1922 the Roman Martyrology and not including Piatonis Piata Piatonis or that it was the usual spelling.
However, wait until the seventh century. for historical information on the saint in question. In the Life of St. Eligius, Bishop of Noyon-Tournai, his disciple Remembrance (d. 684) – unless it is an interpolation of more recent times – said that he discovered the body of St. Eligius Quentin who had been martyred with nails and, after much effort, also found the body of Piato, in the village of Seclin (North) in the territory of Mélantois. The bishop showed the crowd the long nails that had also been extracted from the body of this martyr, was buried the remains and build a mausoleum.
In the sec. VI develops a tradition, still valid at the end of the century. VIII, that the Belgica II was evangelized by some martyrs: Victorian, Fusco, Quentin and Luciano, Crispin and Piato. At their departure from Rome with St. Dionysius of Paris and his comrades was ordained Priest and sent from this region of Tournai.
We need to come to sec. X to find the first biography of Piatano, but once again the editor has copied the Life of St. Lucian of Beauvais, subject to change. According to this account, Piato, after his sermon in the region of Tournai, was arrested by the prefect Rizio-launch (character created second Delehaye, by law) with Quentin and his justice: a sword to slice off the top of the skull.
We note that this passage makes no mention of execution for nails mentioned in the Life of St. Eligius, but adds that the martyr was buried in Seclin (North), near Lille, and his tomb was built a Basilica.
The law was later expanded, “Piato converted thirty thousand pagans. After the punishment the body of the Martyr saint arose, he took with his own hands on top of his head cut off, went from Tournai, and guided by angels, took the place of decapitation, until Seclin, where he was buried, Piato thus belongs the ranks of the saints cefalofori.
Piato became the patron saint of Tournai and his name is found in the ancient litanies. At the time of the Norman invasion, his relics were transferred to St-Omer (news that is disputed by F. Lot), then to Chartres and then to Tournai. The body was later returned to Seclin, but this is unlikely because at Chartres in sec. XII claimed to possess the whole body on the other hand a survey of the relics carried in Seclin in 1853 noted the existence of only a few bones.
At Chartres the casket of Piato underwent various vicissitudes: the seal in silver and decorated since 1750 was stolen during the Revolution and sent to Paris, while the relics remained in the cathedral. In the district of the city there is also a parish dedicated to this Martyr.
In the crypt beneath the choir of the collegiate church of Seclin and dating at best the SEC. XIII preserves a sarcophagus of the Gallo-Roman city that has been identified with the tomb of Piato.
It was also suggested that the Saints of Chartres and in Tournai owe their existence to a relic of St. Piato, Martyr of Andra.
Author: Rombaut Van Doren
Source: Santi e Beati