Saint Eulalia (Aulaire, Aulazia, Olalla, Eulària) (c. 290–12 February 303), co-patron saint of Barcelona, was a 13-year-old Roman Christian virgin who suffered martyrdom in Barcelona during the persecution of Christians in the reign of emperor Diocletian (although the Sequence of Saint Eulalia mentions the “pagan king” Maximian). There is some dispute as to whether she is the same person as Saint Eulalia of Mérida, whose story is similar.
For refusing to recant her Christianity, the Romans subjected her to thirteen tortures
, including flagellation.
Eulalia is commemorated with statues and street names throughout Barcelona. Her body was originally interred in the church of Santa Maria de les Arenes (St. Mary of the Sands; now Santa Maria del Mar, St. Mary of the Sea). It was hidden in 713 during the Moorish invasion, and only recovered in 878. In 1339, it was relocated to an alabaster sarcophagus in the crypt of the newly built Cathedral of Santa Eulalia. The festival of Saint Eulalia is held in Barcelona for a week around her feast day on February 12.
The flagellation of St Eulalia, detail from the predella of an altarpiece from the Vic Cathedral, by Bernat Martorell (ca 1400-1452), painted on wood.