Rev. Alban Butler (171173). Volume X: October. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.
St. Piat, Apostle of Tournay, Martyr
ST. PIAT or PIATON, a zealous priest, came from Italy, being a native of Benevento, to preach the gospel in Gaul, probably about the same time with St. Dionysius of Paris, and his companions. Penetrating as far as Belgic Gaul, he converted to the faith the country about Tournay, and was crowned with martyrdom, as it seems, under the cruel governor Rictius Varus, about the year 286, about the beginning of the reign of Maximian Herculeus, who then marched into Gaul. His body was pierced by the persecutors with many huge nails, such as were used in joining beams or rafters, and are described by Galloni and Mamachi among the instruments of torture used by the Romans. St. Piat seems to have suffered torments at Tournay, the capital, but to have finished his martyrdom at Seclin. This martyrs body was discovered in the seventh century at Seclin, pierced with these nails, by St. Eligius of Noyon, as St. Owen relates in his life of St. Eligius. He was before honoured there, or St. Eligius would not have sought his body in that place. It is enshrined in the collegiate church which bears his name at Seclin, a village between Lille and Tournay, the ancient capital of the small territory called Medenentensis, now Melantois; and he is honoured as the apostle and patron of that country. In the invasions of the Normans the relics of SS. Bavo, Wandrille, Aubert, Wulfran, Wasnulf, Piat, Bainus, Winnoc, and Austreberte were conveyed to St. Omer, and there secured forty years, according to the chronicle of the Normans in Duchesne, an. 846. Those of St. Piat were in another invasion conveyed to Chartres, and part still remains there in a collegiate church of canons, which bears his name. Fulbert of Chartres has left us a hymn in his honour. The body of St. Eubertus or Eugenius, his companion and fellow-martyr, is kept in the great collegiate church of St. Peter at Lille, which was founded and richly endowed by Baldwin of Lille, earl of Flanders, in 1066. See Tillemont, t. 14. Molanus in Calend. Flandr. Stilting, t. 1. Octob. p. 126. who gives his most ancient Acts, since interpolated in two editions. See also Ado, Usuard, Georgi, &c.