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Saint Gereon
Martyr
Born unknown
Died d. ca. 304 AD, Cologne
Venerated in Cologne, Germany
Major shrine Cologne
Feast October 10
Attributes Depicted as medieval knight or Roman legionnaire
Patronage Cologne; knights of Cologne; invoked against headaches, migraine

Saint Gereon of Köln (French: Géréon), who may have been a soldier, was martyred at Cologne, allegedly by beheading, probably in the early 4th century.

According to his legend, Gereon (called the "Golden Saint") was said to be a soldier of the Theban Legion. Gregory of Tours, writing in the 6th century, said that Gereon and his companions were a detachment of fifty men of the Theban Legion who were massacred at Agaunum by order of Emperor Maximian for refusing to sacrifice to pagan gods to obtain victory in battle.[1]

Some of his companions' names are stated as being Cassius, Gregorius Maurus, Florentius, Innocentius (Innocent), Constantinus, and Victor.

Saint Bede mentions that their feast was included in the Sarum calendar, as well as the calendars of Barking and Durham. Later medieval legends increased the number of Gereon's companions to 290 or 319, and Saint Norbert of Xanten is said to have discovered, through a vision, the spot at Cologne where the relics of Saint Ursula and her companions, of Saint Gereon, and of other martyrs lay hidden.

Gereon became a popular military saint and is often represented in art as a Roman soldier or medieval knight. Along with other saints who were beheaded, he is invoked by those suffering from migraine headaches. Hélinand of Froidmont's Martyrium mentions Saint Gereon. St. Gereon's Basilica, in Cologne, is dedicated to him.

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