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Valira Torrent:   Contents | Subject index

Perforation image from Serif Art Gallery. © Serif Inc, 1996

Valira Torrent - bulletin of the Andorran Philatelic Study Circle. Issue 36, pp6-7 (November 1992).

Copyright notice

Altar-piece in Santa Eulalia, Encamp

Santa Eulalia altar-piece The scene shown on the stamp relates to the martyrdom of Santa Eulalia. It forms part of the plinth of the altar-piece and was made in 1701. It is carved in wood and the figures form a bas-relief. However, there is a problem over exactly which Santa Eulalia is shown. There are two: Eulalia of Barcelona and Eulalia of Merida. As there are only minor variations in the stories of the two, it is possible that they are one and the same person. Whatever the truth of the matter, Eulalia of Barcelona is greatly honoured in Catalonia. Eulalia of Barcelona and Eulalia of Merida both suffered martyrdom under Diocletion, about the year 304. The Latin poet, Prudence (348-c415) wrote a long hymn which describes the torture of the latter.

Eulalia of Barcelona was fourteen years old when she appeared before the prefect Dacien. Eulalia of Merida is reckoned to be twelve years old she appeared before Calpurnien. According to the story Eulalia was a serious child who, foliowing the persecution of the Christians, was hidden in the countryside to escape persecution. However, she decided to return and face her persecutors. One night she escaped, and after a long journey, with her feet covered in blood, she presented herself before the tribunal. There she insulted the judge and the gods being worshipped. As a result she was tortured, being burnt on the chest and sides. After this she was crucified on a X-shaped cross. When she died, a dove is said to have risen from the cross and the sky covered her body in a shroud of snow.

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Andorran Philatelic Study Circle / Hon. Librarian: E. J. Jewell / apsc@free.fr /
Updated 6th September 1998