Today is the feast day of St. Eligius. Eligius (also known as Eloi) was born to Roman-Gallo parents, Eucherius and Terrigia, around 590 near Limoges in France. His father was a metalsmith and Eligius, learning this craft from him, became extremely skillful in the trade. Eventually he was appointed master of the mint under King Clotaire II of Paris. Eligius developed a close friendship with the King and his reputation as an outstanding metalsmith became widespread.
In 629, Eligius was appointed Dagobert’s first counselor. Later, on a mission for Dagobert, he persuaded the Breton King Judicael to accept the authority of Dagobert.
Eligius was ordained as a priest in 640 and later was appointed Bishop of Noyon, France and Tournai, Belgium in 641. Known for his piety, hard work and honesty, Eligius was generous to the poor, ransomed slaves (including Saint Tillo of Solignac), built churches, a monastery at Solignac, France, and a major convent in Paris.
Eligius died on December 1, around 660, at Noyon. He is the patron of metalworkers and craftsmen.
The use of one’s talents and wealth for the welfare of humanity is a very true reflection of the image of God. In the case of St. Eligius, he was so well liked that he attracted many to Christ. His example should encourage us to be generous in spirit and kind and happy in demeanor.