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in his endeavours to reconcile St. Leo with St. Hilary.
He had long been desirous to know German, of whom
he had heard much ; and the tidings of liis arrival were
hio-hly acceptable to him. Another cause contributed
to this satisfaction ; his wife had been for some time
afflicted with a severe ague, and lie expected German
could afford relief Before, therefore, he had entered
the city, he went out to meet him. His surprise was

' Biog. Uni. ad voccm Hil.
- Vid. Tillcm. xv. 64.


not small to find German superior to the fame he had
acquired : the dignity of his countenance, his learning,
his authoritative manner of speaking, filled the prefect
with admiration. He offered presents, and pressed the
acceptance of them. Then he acquainted him with the
sickness of his wife, upon which German, without
delay, accompanied him to his residence. Here he found
the sufferer, and immediately healed her. The relater
of this miracle is careful to attribute the departui-e
of her fever and shiverings to the joint power of Ger-
man and the faith of the lady.

Having explained the object of his journey, he easily
obtained the desu-ed remedium, or exemption from
tribute, for the people of Auxerre. He then hastened
to carry back the joyful intelligence. His presence,
however, was best able to infuse true pleasure into their
hearts : when he was with them, they could be content
under all circumstances.

German seems occasionally to have taken long jour-
neys thi-ough different parts of Gaul for the purpose of
reviving the religious spirit of his countrymen. At
this time the intei'ference of one bishop with another in
the administration of their dioceses, might not under
some circumstances be deemed obtrusive. The inva-
sion of the Barbarians had spread so great an appear-
ance of anarchy over the country, that the Bishops
might in some sense consider themselves appointed col-
lectively over the whole country, as one diocese, to re-
store discipline and kindle religion wherever they could.
The zeal and holiness which distinguished the Bishops
of the time, would also naturally encourage tliis under-
standing between them, and supersede any regular dis-
pensation. It is perhaps on this principle that we find
German, on one occasion, preaching within the diocese


of Auvergno, wliicli had Bishops of its own, one of
whom, several years after, Avas tlie illustrious Sidonius
Apollinai'is. Some have tliouglit German came to
Brioude, in Auvcrgne, on his way back from Aries to
Auxerre, just after his interview with Auxiliaris ;^ but
though it would not have taken him much out of his
way to pass by Auvergne, yet his anxiety to reach his
native country would scai'cely have allowed him to take
a circuitous course, especially over a hilly country ; and
Constantius seems to mark distinctly his return to
Auxerre before his expedition to Auvergne, Avliich he
does not assign to any particular time.^ Wlien he
came to Brioude, he found the inlialntants perplexed to
know on what day they ought to celebrate the raartyr-
dom of St. Julian. St. Julian is one of the most fa-
mous martyrs of the French church. He was a native
of Vienne, and of noble birth, who suffered in the Dio-
cletian persecution while ]\Iaximian governed the
Western Empire.^ At the advice of his friend Ferre-
olus the Tribune, he had retired to Brioude, in Au-
vergne, where the messengers of Crispinus the governor,
found him and beheaded him. His body was interred
at Brioude, and his head carried to Vienne. Gregory
of Tours, who has written a special book about this
martyr, tells us that many miracles were performed at
his tomb ; and the same Gregory considered himself
imder the immediate protection of St. Julian.* Sido-
nius Apollinaris also before him, remarks, in a letter to
Mamertus, Bishop of Vienne, (an eminent Saint of the
fifth century,^ who instituted the Days of Rogation,)

' Baillet Vic dcs Saints, xxviii. August.

2 Sidon. Apoll. Lib. LI. Lett. ix. p. 1G8, and not. p. 221.

^ Baillet, xxviii. Aug.

•• De Gloria Martyr. ^ Epis. i. lib. vi. p. 158.


the great honour in which St. Julian's remains Avere
held ; and it was, in all probability, to the tomb of St.
Julian that a pilgrimage was prepared by the relations
of Sidonius. He describes it as full of danger, on
account of the distressed state of the country from the
outrages of the barbarians, ^ and at the same time com-
mends their piety, for the design they had conceived.

When German perceived the cause of the people's
grief, he said to them, " Let us pray to God. Perhaps
he will reveal to us the day." When evening came,
and all had retired, German, according to his custom,
passed the whole night in prayer. On the following
morning, he called together the chief persons of the
town, and enquired whether they had liad any revela-
tion. When they answered in the negative, " Well
then," said he, " know that the 28th of August is to be
celebrated as St. Jidian's Festival ; for I have learnt, by
divine intimation, that on that day the blessed Martyr
was murdered by the Pagans." When he had said
this, the people present were filled with joy, and re-
turned thanks to the Bishop for his services. It will
be seen trom this instance, how early importance was
attached to the particular day of a Saint's death, in
order to determine the Festival in his honour. No
ordinary day would satisfy the people of Auvergne,
and a general gloom had spread over them.

Few of the events of German's life, between his
return from Britain to his second journey thither,
which occupied a period of above sixteen years, have
been transmitted to us by Coustantius, and we have no
means of supplying the deficiency from other sources,
with the exception of one or two circumstances. St.

' Epist. vi. lib. iv. p. 337.


Hilary, wc have seen, had contracted a great friend-
sliip with German, 1 which some carry up to an earlier
period than the visit to Ai'les just related. It has
been thought that Hilary was present at the Council
which chose German and Lupus to go over to Britain,
which is described as having been a very numerous
one ; and certain it is, that could it be proved that
it was held at Aries, according to Garnier's con-
jecture, Hilary must have been present. But with-
out hazarding guesses, it appears tliat Hilary went
often to see German, at Auxerre, although this town
was out of his diocese, and the Bishop of Sens was
German's metropolitan ; and he consulted him, we
learn, upon all the questions relating to Cliurch mat-
ters, that is, according to Honoratus of Marseilles, in
his life of Hilary, " concerning the mode of government,
and conduct of the diiferent Bishops, whether their
virtues or their faults."*^ It was this very vigilance
which occasioned him trouble. The Archbishop of
Aries assumed the superintendence of all the Churches
of Gaul, which did not a little displease the See of
Rome. About the year 4-44, Hilary paid a visit to
German. As soon as his arrival was made known,
divers persons of importance and many others, came
to the two Bishops, and brought complaints of Cheli-
donius. Bishop of Besan^on, saying that he had in
former times married a widow, and when entrusted
with an office in the civil govenuuent, had condemned
some jicrsons to death ;^ both whicli things were ac-
counted an obstacle to the elevation of any one to a

' Tillcmont, t. xv. p. 64.

■-' p. 743. t. i. Qupsncl, and Holland, ad v. Maii.

^ Tillemont, xv. 71.


Bishopric. Hilary and German then ordered the
proofs to be produced. Many great Bishops assembled
to be present at the discussion, among whom was St.
Eucher of Lyons. It is believed that this Council was
held at Besangon, at which, also, Hilary presided, not
Eucher of Lyons, as being a junior Bishop. There
the question was maturely weighed, and it was proved
that Chelidonius had in fact married a widow ; Conse-
quently, he was called on to resign his episcopal office,
and another was elected in his place. The decree of
the Council was supported by the Patrician Aetius and
the Prefect Marcellus. This sentence led to serious
results. Chelidonius went to Rome and laid his cause
at the feet of St. Leo, the Pope, who, notAvithstanding
Hilary's explanations, espoused the cause of the former,
and re-established him in his See. Hilary, who had
also gone to Rome, became the object of Leo's resent-
ment, which, to all appearances, was anything but just,
and did not even end with the death of the holy Bishop
of Ai'les. It is supposed by Stillingfleet that German
also was involved in the disgrace which Hilary then
suffered with respect to the See of Rome. This, in-
deed, may be partly granted ; yet there is no reason to
suppose him to have forfeited the estimation of Pope
Leo in 444, except so far as related to this deposition
of Chelidonius. But it would be absurd to infer with
him, that this circumstance, which occurred in 444,
must have made German obnoxious to Pope Celestine
fifteen years before. At tliat time, Hilary was quite a
young man, and just elected to Aries, and an intimacy
with him was not in such abhorrence at Rome, as to
injure German's character. On the other hand, there
is no sufficient reason to suppose German, in his second
voyage to Britain, which took place in 446, to have


acted against Leo's wishes ; it would be lending unjust
motives to one who had the virtues of a Saint, and
who must have been acquainted with the services
which German had rendered to the Britons, services
wliich few, perhaps none other, could confer.

The other circumstance not mentioned by Constan-
tius, but by Hericus, the monk of Auxerre, (who,
though a w^riter of the ninth century, may, as far as
the general fact is concerned, be considered a sufficient
authority,) relates to the meeting of German and St.
Anian, the famous Bishop of Orleans. This was the
St. Anian who not long after, by his prayers, saved
the town of Orleans from the fury of Attila, who was
besieging it, and to whom the sceptic Gibbon lias not
disdained to pay the tribute of admiration. Had Heri-
cus not mentioned his interview with St. German, we
might infer it from the mere probabilities. Their
Sees were near, they were within the same civil juris-
diction, they were contemporaries, they were the same
in life, doctrine, holiness. The traditions which re-
cord it are such as the following. There was a Church
dedicated to St. German, in the time of Hericus, in
one of the suburbs ^f Orleans. Here it was said St.
Anian had met St. German. A peal of bells, which
had suddenly been rung Avithout any human assistance,
had announced to him the arrival of his brother of
Auxerre. He had collected a great number of his
Clergy, and coming out to receive him, had advanced
to this spot. "When the time came for German to re-
turn, St. Anian accompanied him out of Orleans. They
were met by a bier, on which was laid the corpse of an
only son ; the mother was walking beside it. The two
Saints demurred for a short time which should have the
honour of restoring the child of this second widow of


Nain. St. German consented at last ; and brought
again the dead son to life. The subject of this great
miracle lived to an old age, says the repeater of the
tradition ; and there is no doubt that a Church was
dedicated to St. German, at the place where it occurred.

His Second P^isit to Britain.

German was now advanced in age ; he had governed
the diocese of Auxerre for twenty-nine years, and had
obtained the highest reputation over all Gaul for his
miracles, holiness, and learning. His advice was
sought by the whole Chiu'ch on important matters, and
distinguished men came to hear him discourse, and
profit by his instructions. In the year 447, the intel-
ligence was again brought to Gaul from Britain, of a
revival of the Pelagian heresy in the latter country.
There were few, it was said, who disturbed the peace
of the nation, but the danger was every day increasing.
German was again called to restore the doctrine which
he before so signally had defended. As on the occa-
sion of his previous mission he was requested by all
to undertake the ofiice of Apostle, so he was on this ;
yet we are not able to determine whether any Council
was assembled, or any peculiar authority, over and
above the original commission which he had received,
was I'equired.^ There is reason, however, to conjectui'e

' Const, had said, " Preces omnium ad virum beatissimum
deferuntur." Bede adds to omnium the word sacerdotum.


that a Synod was held at Treves, ^ and that in conse-
quence, Severus, the Bishop of that town, whose exer-
tions in the north of Gaul for the promotion of religion
had made him renowned, was elected to accompany
German on his second voyage. Severus was the dis-
ciple, says Bede, of St. Lupus. ^

During the interval which had elapsed from Ger-
man's first journey to Britain to his second, the con-
dition of this island had been anything but peaceful.
Vortigern, to whom the reader has already been intro-
duced, had by this time been elected king of the
Britons. This event some assign to the year 438 ; but
very little chronological certainty can here be expected.
The character of Vortigern has come down to posterity
with all the colours applied to unpopular tjTants. That
his reign was compassed with more than ordinary diffi-
culties cannot be denied. " Wlien he was king," says
Nennius,' "he was kept in suspense by continual ap-
prehensions of danger from the Picts and Scots, from
the remnant of the Romans ready to attack, and the
exploits of Ambrosius ;" while the Saxons who sur-
rounded the country with their piratical skiffs were
ever waiting to profit by his vaccillations and impru-
dences. Still the most charitable interpretation can-
not rescue him from very serious charges, namely, of
gross immorality and irreligion. It is probably to this
time that the pathetic declamations of the historian
Gildas about the sins of the nation are to be ascribed.*
The temporary return to religion and good manners

■ Not in 449, according to Mansi Concilia, for German was
then dead, and the Saxons had invaded Britain.
- Bed. lib. i. ch. 81. ^ p. 24.

- Collier, p. 108.


occasioned by the distress which the invaders had
produced, and by the visit of German and Lupus, had
been followed by a different course of life so soon
as the bai'barians were defeated.^ The orthodoxy of
the nation indeed remained comparatively pure, but
peace brought plenty, and plenty produced luxury
and libertinism. 2 The principles of the people degen-
erated daily, and defied the coercion of all Ecclesiastical
discipline. " When the aggressions of the enemy had
ceased," says Bede after Gildas, " there was an abun-
dance of provisions in the island such as had never
been known ; but with them flowed in scandalous lux-
ury ; and every vice soon followed in the train, espe-
cially cruelty and hatred of truth Avith love of false-
hood ; insomuch, that if any one appeared somewhat
more humane or sincere than the rest, the odium and
sarcasms of all Avere directed against him, as if he were
the subverter of Britain. And this was the condition
not of the laity alone, but even of the flock of the Lord
and of his Pastors. They cast away the light yoke of
the Lord and gave themselves up to drunkenness, ani-
mosities, litigiousness, contention, envy and the like.
However, while they were in this state a pestilence
broke out, which carried off such numbers, that the
living were not able to bury their dead. Still, neither
the death of their kinsmen, nor the fear of their own,
could recall those who survived from the death of sin.
Therefore soon after, a more severe pvmishment fell

' Bede, ch. xiv. He does not connect the cessation of hos-
tilities with the coming of German, but dates seem to imply as
much, and it is hard to conceive the invaders settling down ex-
cept after defeat. Compare also the extract from Giraldus
Cambrensis below.

- Alford.


upon the wretched nation. To repel and keep off the
continued iiTuption of the northern nations, a public
council was held, and it was debated where assistance
should be sought. All decreed together with their
king Vortigern that the Saxons should be called over
from the opposite shores to assist them. A measure
which the Lord undoubtedly brought about to punish
the sins of the Britons, as the event showed."

Tills invitation addressed to the Saxons is assigned
to the year 440 by Bede. Not long before, in 447,
while the nation was in the state just described, Ger-
man came over with Severus of Treves. He had lost
no time in setting off from Auxerre. His way again
lay in the direction of Nanterre and Paris, as on his
first jom-ney. Here he was received by the congratu-
lations of all. His blessing was demanded on every
side. And while he was complying with the wishes of
the inhabitants, he enquired earnestly after the virgin
Genevieve. Genevieve was by this time grown up, for
eighteen years had elapsed since German had passed
through before. He was not altogether ignorant of
what she had undergone since his departure.^ The
fact was that slie had from the first led a life of exem-
plary holiness and mortification. At the age of fifteen,
when confirmed in her vocation, she received the vir-
gin's veil from the hands of Velicus, Bishop of Char-
tres.* At the death of her parents she removed from
Nanterre to Paris, where she lived with her god-
mother. Notwithstanding the sanctity of her life, she

' Biogr. Un.
- It is evident from this incidental passage that some time
had elapsed between German's two voyages, contrary to the
anachronism of some who assign them to years near each other.


could not escape calumny and persecution ; and her
pious practices were looked upon as hypocritical arts.
However German, regardless of the imputations which
were cast upon her by her enemies, betook himself to
the abode of the virgin Genevieve, and to the great
surprise of all saluted her on entering in the most re-
spectful manner, " as if he looked upon her as the temple
in which the Divine presence was manifested."' The
visit of so great a personage as German was alone a
high commendation of her character ; but not content
with this, he addressed a discourse to the assembled
multitude, in which he declared the early events of her
religious life, ^ and her high price in the sight of God ;
and as a proof of her sincerity, showed to the people the
ground on which she used to lie, moistened by her con-
tinual tears. For the present the outcries of her ene-
mies were totally suppressed ; and German was able to
proceed on his road. As it is not to the purpose of
this narrative to describe the whole history of this
great Saint, the reader is referred to those who have
collected what is known of her.^ It is sufficient here
to say that her deeds were committed to wi'iting eigh-
teen years after her death, in 530. Her feast is on
the 3rd of January.

German and Sevei'us met with no obstacle this time
in their passage across the channel. Swift as their
progress was, yet the evil spirits managed to spread the
fame of their arrival througliout the island, before, says

' Constantius.

- This also shows that time sufficient had elapsed for his first
journey to have been forgotten in its details.

^ Vid. Boll, ad iii. Jan. Vita cum commentariis, p. 137 In

modern languages, see her Life in Butler and Baillet, Vie des
Saints, and Biogr. Uni.


Constantius, they were in sight. Among the first who
came to meet German was Elaphius, one of the chief
men of the country. He brought witli him his son,
who from childhood had been a cripple. The whole
province, of which he apparently was sovereign, fol-
lowed Elaphius. When the two Bishops had landed,
the multitude thronged to get their blessing. German
then learnt that the people had not yet departed from
the faith in which he had previously established them ;
and that the Pelagian leaven had infected a few only.

In the meantime, Elaphius tlu'ew himself down be-
fore German and Severus, and entreated them to have
compassion upon his afflicted son. All united in ex-
pressing their commiseration for him. Then German
having desired the young man to sit down, laid hold of
liis crooked legs, and passed his hand gently over the
distorted parts. His touch produced an instantaneous
cure ; the circulation returned to the withered joints,
and the nerves resumed their strength. In the presence
of all, the young man was restored to his father in per-
fect soundness. The people tilled with amazement at
the miracle, were confirmed in the Faith by which so
great a deed had been performed. In some sense they
resembled the Samaritans, who said unto the woman
that conversed with our Lord at Jacob's well, " Now
do we beheve, not because of thy saying, for we have
heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the
Christ the Saviour of the world." ^

The two Bishops then proceeded to take measures
for the total extirpation of the Pelagian heresy. They
preached everywhere with such efficacy, that the nation
unanimously agreed to have the propagators of the

' St. John iv. 42.


error arrested and brought to the Bishops, to be car-
ried away from the island into foreign parts. Some
have thought they were sent to Rome, others that they
were taken only to Gaul.^ Constantius seems to af-
firm, that while care was taken to deliver Britain from
their pi-esence, hopes were entertained that they might
elsewhere be brought round to orthodoxy. ^ The event
fully showed the expediency of a measure, which might
be looked upon now as an act of persecution ; for hence-
forth the Catholic faith remained entire in Britain up
to the time when Constantius wrote, that is, about forty
years after the journey of German.

With this last assertion Constantius concludes his
narrative of German's second visit to Britain ; and
as it is an important one, before the accounts of other
authors are produced, it may be as well to notice
some few observations to which it leads. A decided
proof seems here to be given that the invasion of
the Saxons and Angles did not extinguish the Chris-
tian religion in Britain to the degree which is gene-
rally supposed, -and has been maintained by some wri-
ters. Constantius speaks of what existed in his
own time, after the Saxons had been for nearly forty
years settled in Britain. It would appear then, that
whatever error there may be in that theory wliich rests
the doctrines and discipline of the Church of England
upon its original state under the Britons, in contradis-
tion to the arrangements introduced by St. Austin, yet
there is a great appearance of truth in the reason which

' Hist. Ep. Antiss. c. vii. apud Boll. Tillemont torn. xv. p. 19.
- " Ut regio absolutione et illi emendatione fruerentur."
Perhaps, however, the illi refers to the natives, as Constantius
is not afraid of tautology.


is adduced to support it, viz. that the Christian religion
was not utterly destroyed in Britain by the arrival of
the Saxons. The analogy of other countries alone
would lead to the belief that the Saxons, like other
barbarians, would rather adopt the faith of the van-
quished than impose their own ; and the language of
Constantius is too strong to suppose the faith shut up
in one corner of the island, Wales, according to the
common notion. He says expi'essly, " that in those
parts (from which the country where German landed
could hardly be excluded, namely, the shores of Kent,)
the Faith continues untainted (which could not be
the case if a Pagan religion was there substituted for
the Christian) tip to our times. ^ Now if we consider
that St. Austin came into England, according to Bede,
in 596, and that Constantius wrote his Life of St. Ger-
man about 483, it seems hardly possible that the Fafth
which remained entire in 483, should have been totally
extinguished in 596, i. e. 113 years after ; especially as
the violence of the Saxons is represented to have been
displayed chiefly towards the beginning of their inva-
sion, at least thirty years before Constantius wrote. ^
And this view is supported by the learned Whitaker.

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