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St. Gregory of Tours tells us that this Denis was an Italian by birth and became a missionary bishop. With five companions he established a Christian center on an island in the Seine in the city of Paris.
One of his companions was a priest called Rusticus, another a deacon called Eleutherius. They are said to have been executed on Montmartre (“Martyrs’ Hill”) and their bodies thrown into the Seine, from which they were later recovered and given decent burial in a chapel that later became the abbey of St. Denis.
St. Denis is the patron of France. The French kings’ tombs are found in the church of St. Denis on the north side of the city of Paris.