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About St Pancras

Any attempt to record the life of an early martyr saint cannot be undertaken lightly.  This is particularly difficult when the person concerned is one, around whom a cult developed.

St. Pancras a lector remained steadfastly true to his faith.  There is no record of his being tortured.  However, this was normal in such cases and it is possible that he underwent some physical suffering..  He was given a sentence of death at the age of 15.

He was taken out of the city limits, and was executed by being beheaded on the Aurelian Way on the 12th May 302.  We are told that a Roman Lady named Octavilla arranged his burial, and that it took place in the Catacomb of Calepodius, which was very near to the place of the martyrdom.

It was evident that the young man had been much liked and respected during his lifetime.  When the news got round that he had been executed, he became honoured and revered.

The fame of St. Pancras spread rapidly.  Soon a considerable cult developed.  The story of the Lector was recounted in other lands and many Churches were dedicated to him.  It is not known whether what we would today, call the "usual channels" were employed to secure the Canonisation.  In the early days there were examples of people being made a Saint by popular demand or acclamation.  Whichever the reason the story of the martyred St. Pancras became known in all parts of the Christian world.  He was one of the really popular early martyrs, possibly because of his youth.

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