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v.;. v>'- ~ttr, on *u. * low



* *


Jlftjes of ti)e >atnt0




* *

First Edition published 1872

Second Edition . . . . ,, iSyj

New and Revised Edition, 16 vols. ,, 1914

After the Picture by Cima da Conegliano, in the Louvre, Paris.

Dec, Frontispiece.]

* 1 *v* - ' ' ''' i; *


2,it)es of tjie Saints



With Introduction and Additional Lives of English

Martyrs, Cornish, Scottish, and Welsh Saints,

and a full Index to the Entire Work

New and Revised Edition






* *


Printed tiy Ballantyne, Hanson <5r Co.
at the Ballantyne Press, Edinburgh



S. Abra 170

Adalsendis / . . 280
SS. Adela and Irmina . 274

S. Adelhaid, Empress 161

,, Ado, B. of Vienne . 199
SS. Alexander and Epi-

machius . . .156

S. Algeric, B. of Ver-
dun 2

Ambrose .... 74
SS. Ammonarium and

others . . . .156

Ammon, Zeno, and

others .... 224

S. Anastasia .... 278

Anastasius II., Pa-
triarch of Antioch 234

Anno, Abp. of Co-
logne .... 29


S. Anysia 406

Anysius, B. of Thes-

salonica. . . . 407

Asella 68

,, Attala 20

Autbert, B. of C.am-

brai . . . . .171


S. Barbara . . . . 25
Bean, B. of Mortlach 203

Beggha 207

Bertoara . . . .161

Bibiana 10

Birinus, B. of Dor-
chester .... 17
Bodagisl . . . .220
Budoc, B. of Dol .118
Burgundofara, or

Fara 105



< <P* f m i n









Christiana .



Clement of
andria .




Columba .



Convoyon .


Co rent in,





Crescens .


Crispina ..




Damasus, Pope . .137
Daniel the Stylite . 142
Deiniol,B. of Bangor 128
Delphinus, B. of

Bordeaux . . .271
Dionysia, Majori-

cus, and others . 69
Dionysius, Pope . 299


S. Ebrulfus .... 324
Eligius, B. of Noyon 2
SS. Epimachius & Alex-
ander . . . .156
S. Ernan . . . . .237
SS. Eugraphius&comp. 125
Eulalia and Julia \. 124
S. Eusebius, B. of Ver-

celli 191

Eutychianus, Pope, no
Expectation of the Con-
finement of our
Lady. . . . . 218


S. Fara 105

Finnian, B. of Clo-

nard . . . ..159
Flannan,B. of Killa-

loe 221


S. Flavian 236

Florentia .... 1
Fulk,B. of Toulouse 291
Fulquinus, B. of

Therouanne . .187
SS. Fuscianus & comp. 136

S. Gatian, B. of Tours 219
SS. Gentianus & comp. 136
S. GertrudeofHamage 70
Gorgonia . . . .117
Gregory of Spoleto 270



SS. Hermogenes

comp. . . .
Holy House of Loreto



S. Ildefonsus, B. of

Toledo .... 306
Immaculate Conception

of the B.V. Mary 108

Holy Innocents . . .311

SS. Irmina and Adela . 274

S. Ischyrion . . . .235

Ivo, B. of Chartres . 241

S. Jarlath, B. of Tuam 305
Jeanne Franchise de

Chantal 176

John the Divine . . 307

h Judoc 173

SS. Julia and Eulalia . 124







S. Lazarus .... 204
Leocadia . . . .115

Levari 273

Liberius I., B. of

Ravenna . . . 404

Lucius 13

Lucy 168


S. Macarius .... 109

SS. Majoricus & others 69

B. Margaret Colonna . 409

S. Marinus .... 300

B.V. Mary, Immaculate

Conception of the 108
S. Marius, B. of Aven-

- ches 425

SS. Martyrs at Nico-

media .... 277
S. Maximinus, Ab. of

Miscy .... 198

Mazota 240

Melania the Younger 417

Melchiades, Pope . 126

,,'Meletius .... 28

SS. Menas, Her-mo-

genes, and Eu-

graphius . . .125

S. Moyses 219


Nativity of our Lord. . 276
S. Nemesion .... 223

SS. Nicasius and Eu-

tropia . . . .185
S. Nicetius,B. of Treves 61
Nicolas, B. of Myra 64


S. Odilia 174

Olympias .... 206

VOL. xv.

S. Osmund, B. of Salis-


Peter Chrysologus . 1 1
Peter Paschal . . 71
Peter the Venerable 280
Philogonius, B. of
Antioch . . .225


S. Romaric . . . .


SS. Rufus and Zosimus




SS. Sabinus and others


S. Servulus . . . .




Spiridion . . . .


Stephen . . . .




Sylvester, Pope . .



S. Tarsilla . . . .


^, Thomas a Becket .


Thomas, Ap. . . .


Thorlac, B. of Skal-



Translation of the Holy

House to Loreto


S. Trophimus . . .


Trumwin, B. of the



S. Valerian . . . .


Venantius Fortu-

natus . . . .


Victoria . . . .







SS. Victoricus, Fusci-
anus, and Genti-

anus 136

Virgins in Africa . 199


S. William Longsword,

Duke . . . .212

S. Yvo or Ivo, B. of

Chartres . . .241

SS. Zeno and others . . 224

S. Zosimus, Pope . .301

SS. Zosimus and Rufus 219



* ; *


Madonna Enthroned Frontispiece

After the Picture by ClMA DA CONEGLIANO, in
the Louvre, Paris.

Murder of Peter Martyr {see April i^th) to face p. 12

Probably after the Picture by Titian, formerly
in the Chapel of SS. Giovanni e Paola, at

S. Barbara 26

After the Painting by HANS Holbein (the elder),
one of the wings of the altar-piece of S.
Sebastian, in the Pinakothek, Munich.

S. Osmund, B. of Salisbury ... ,,48

S. Ambrose ,-, 74

After Cahier.

Tree of Jesse 108

From the Office for the Immaculate Conception in
the Vienna Missal.

The B. Virgin and Child .... 130

From the Vienna Missal.

The Translation of the Holy House

to Loreto ....... 132

After a curious Work by Pere Kucher en-
titled " Atlas Marianus. '



xii List of Illustrations

S. CORENTIN . to face p. 158

After Cahier.

S. Jeanne Francoise de Chantal . . . 176

S. Spiridion 180

After Cahier.

S. Beggha {seep. 207) on p. 222

S. Thomas to face p. 232

From the Vienna Missal.

The Nativity n 276

From the Vienna Missal.

S. John the Divine (seep. 307) . . . on p. 295

S. Stephen carrying the Stones of his

Martyrdom to face p. 296

After the Painting by Martin Schoengauer.

S. John the Divine ...... 307

S. John the Divine ..... 308

'From the Vienna Missal.

S. John the Evangelist .... 310

Massacre of the Innocents . . . 312

After the Picture by GuiDO, in the Museum,

Virgin and Infant Christ .... 320

From the Vienna Missal.

Vestments of S. Thomas A Becket . . 400

S. Sylvester 412

After Cahier.



Lives of the Saints

December i.

S. Castrtcianus, B. of Milan; a.d. 135.

SS. Diodorus, P.M., and Marianus, D.M. at Rom*; etrc. a.d.

S. Ansanus, M. at Siena ; circ. a.d. 303.
S. Olympias, M. at Emilia in Umbria ; circ. a.d. 304.
S. Natalia, IV. at Byzantium (see Sept. 8) ; circ. a.d. 305.
S. Florentia, V. at Combli in Poitou ; A.D. 367.
S. Algeric, B. of Verdun; a.d. 588.
. S. Eugius, B. ofNoyon; a.d. 655*.

(a.d. 367.)

[Gallican Martyrologies. Authority: Lessons in the Poitiers Lre-
viarv; historically worthless.]

HE legend told of this saint is that when, in 359,
S. Hilary in exile traversed Isauria on his way to
attend a council at Seleucia, as he entered the
church of a little village, a young girl precipitated
herself at his feet, and conjured him to regenerate her and
associate her with him in his ministry. He had her baptized,
and when he returned to Aries, she followed him. He found
it convenient to put her under restraint, and he confided the
impetuous enthusiast to S. Triasia, who was living as a
solitary at Comble', near his estate at Celle-l'Eve'cout. Her
prayers, fasting, and vigils, exhausted her frame, and she died
before the prelate, on December 1, 367. The relics were
translated from Comble" to Poitiers in the nth century,
vol. xv. 1


2 Lives of the Saints. [Dec. i.

they were nearly all scattered by the Huguenots, who pillaged
the churches of Poitiers in 1562, but some have been pre-
served, and are now in the cathedral of Poitiers.

(a.d. 588.)

[Roman and Gallican Martyrologies. Authorities : Greg. Turon.
Hist. Franc, lib. ix. c. 10, 12, 13, and a distich of Venantius Fortu-

S. Algeric or Ageric, vulgarly called S. Airy, was born
at Harville, in the diocese of Verdun, of a humble family.
Thierry, king of Austrasia, acted as his godfather. He was
sent to Verdun at the age of seven to study for the Church.
He was only thirty-three when made bishop of Verdun, in
the room of Desiderius, who died in 554. His simplicity,
virtue, and charity, are praised by Venantius Fortunatus, who
visited him at Verdun on his way home from Rome. He
baptized Childebert, son of Sigebert of Austrasia. Bertfried,
who revolted against Childebert, took refuge in the chapel
of S. Algeric at the feet of the saint ; the emissaries of the
king pursued him, and in disregard of the remonstrances
of the saint, killed Bertfried in the sanctuary.


(A.D. 659.)

[Roman and Gallican Martyrologies, Usuardus, &c. Authorities : A
Life by Dado (S. Ouen) bishop of Rouen, d. 683; in Ghasquiere, AA.
SS. Belgii, iii. p. 198; and Dachery, Spicil. v. p. 156; in Surius
altered and curtailed.]

Eligius was born at Chatelat near Limoges. His father's
name was Eucherius, his mother's Terrigia. He was placed

ft *Jf

* f.

Dec. l] & Eligius. 3

early with a goldsmith of Limoges, named Abbo, master of
the mint there, and with him Eligius acquired great skill in
the work of the precious metals, and, perhaps, also in that
enamel work which afterwards made Limoges famous. He
went next to Paris, and was placed with Bobbo, treasurer of
Clothair II. The king wanted a seat, or throne, made of
precious metal, and as he could find no one else capable of
undertaking the task, he confided it to Eligius, giving him at
the same time the metal necessary for making the throne.
Eligius found that he had enough to make two seats. When
they were done he gave one to the king, who admired it,
and ordered payment to be made to the skilful workman.
Then Eligius produced the second throne. 1 The king was
so struck with his honesty, that he immediately advanced
him to be master of the mint, and gave him his entire con-
fidence. The king, anxious to secure Eligius to him more
securely, brought him before some relics and bade him place
his hand on them, and swear to him devout allegiance. The
goldsmith hesitated : he was uncertain how far he could serve
his master with a good conscience. Clothair, instead of
being offended at this hesitation, respected it, and said he
had rather have the word of Eligius than the oath of another
man. *

S. Ouen was then at the court of Dagobert ; he was a young
noble, a few years the junior of Eligius. Ouen and Eligius
became mutually attached, and confided to each other their
desires and troubles. Eligius hung little packets of relics from
nails in the ceiling all round his bedroom. After having made
his general confession, and imposed on himself a penance,
he was very desirous of knowing if he were really pardoned,
and his penance accepted. One of the little hanging packets

1 " Volebat rex sellam urbane auro gemmisque fabricare et sellam auream regiae
dignitati congruam." Mediaeval artists rendered this a saddle, and made of Eligius
a farrier. Almoin speaks of Dagobert using a golden throne, no doubt that fashioned
by Eligius.

, , ,

!< >{

4 Lives of the Saints. [Dec . x .

began to emit a peculiar odour, and drip with some oily
matter, and Eligius accepted this as an omen that he was
absolved in heaven.

The affection borne by Clothair II. to Eligius passed to the
king's son Dagobert, and this king honoured his master of the
mint with his special confidence. He even chose him as his
ambassador to the prince of Brittany, apparently Judicael,
who had assumed the royal title, and attacked and defeated
the Frank soldiers in the plains of Le Mans. Judicael was
the father of S. Winoc and S. Judoc, and is also honoured
among the saints. Dagobert found the Breton prince a
dangerous neighbour, and the commission he gave to Eligius
was a delicate one to enforce on the prince the danger of
provoking the powerful Frank monarch, and to establish
peace without having recourse to arms. Judicael, according
to Fredegar, came to Clichy and did homage to Dagobert.

Eligius returned to Paris, and occupied himself in hammer-
ing out gold and jewel-encrusted vessels for his master. As
master of the mint he struck coins, some of these remain,
bearing his name. 1 His friend S. Ouen gives the following
description of his appearance : " He was tall, with a ruddy
face, his hair and beard were naturally curly ; his hands well-
made and his fingers long, his face was full of angelic sweet-
ness, and his expression was one of prudence and simplicity.
At first he wore habits covered with gold and precious stones,
he had also belts sewn with pearls. His dress was of linen
encrusted with gold, and the edges of his tunic trimmed with
gold embroidery ; indeed, his clothing was very costly, and

1 (i) A gold i sou with the head of Dagobert on one side and the legend " Parisina
ceve fit" (Parisina civitate fecit), on the other a cross and the legend " Dagobertus
rex." Under the arms of the cross " Eligi." (2) Another gold $ sou, with similar
head and cross, and the legends " Parisiis fit " and " Eligius mone " (monetarius).
(3) Another coin of same value, with legend " Mon palati " (moneta palatina) and
" Scolare T.A" Under the arms of the cross " Eligi." (4) Another of same value,
with legend " Parisi civ. . . .", "Dagobertus rex," and " Eligi fit." (5) One struck
in 637 or 638 for Clovis II.

^ ^


Dec. x.] & Eligius. 5

some of his dresses were of silk. Such was his exterior in
his first period at court, and he dressed thus to avoid singu-
larity; but under these rich garments he wore a rough sack-
cloth, and later on, he disposed of all his ornaments to relieve
the distressed, and he might be seen with only a cord round
his waist, and common clothes. Sometimes the king, seeing
him thus divested of his rich clothing, would take off his own
cloak and girdle, and give them to him, saying, ' It is not
suitable that those who live for the world should be richly
clad, and that those who despoil themselves for Christ should
be without glory.' "

Dagobert was ready to grant him any favour he liked to
ask in reason. Eligius requested the king to grant him the
estate of Solignac in Limousin, on which to found a monas-
tery. The situation was delightful, a river swept round the
tongue of land on which the abbey was to rise, hills and
woods surrounded it, and the rocky descent to the river was
rich in spring with golden broom and purple lungwort, and
in autumn with crimson wild vine, yellow maples, and brown
beech. The abbey when completed by Eligius was filled by
a swarm of monks, the numbers grew to a hundred and fifty,
and when S. Ouen lodged there he found that it was unsur-
passed by any monastery in FrancJe in its regular observance
of discipline. He gave up his own house in Paris to S.
Aurea, to become a convent for religious women under her
guidance. His strict integrity appeared in the foundation of
this religious house, as in the making of a throne. He had
asked of the king a grant of the land on which the house
stood, and had been accorded it. He had represented it as
occupying so many yards of ground. But when outbuildings
were cleared away, and the land was remeasured, it was
found that his estimate was wrong by a yard or two, and that
there was more ground than he had represented. He at
once stopped the works, and refused to allow them to be

4 _ >p

6 Lives of the Sat 'its. rDec . u

proceeded with till he had stated the fact to the king, and ob-
tained his consent to the appropriation of the additional few
yards. After this he rebuilt the dilapidated church of S. Mar-
tial. Not long after Paris was in flames, and the conflagration
neared the new church. Sparks and smoke were carried over
the roof, and at every moment it was thought S. Martial's
church would burst into flame. Then Eligius cried out:
" Martial ! Martial ! look well after thy church, for if thou
dost not protect it, thou must be assured that Eligius will
not take the trouble to rebuild it for thee." The saint took
the hint, and saved the church from destruction.

He continued to work at the precious metals, and made
shrines for a great many relics, the most famous ones were
those for S. Martin and S. Brice. The marble tomb of S.
Denys he covered with gold and jewels, he encased the ends
of the altar in gold, with gold apples set with jewels, pro-
bably pomegranates, with crimson rubies for the seed bursting
through the golden pods.

On the death of Acharius, bishop of Noyon, Eligius was
elected to succeed him. He and his friend S. Ouen were
consecrated the same day, May 14, Rogation Sunday, 640,
he to the see of Noyon, including that of Tournai, with
jurisdiction over Ghent and Courtrai, and Ouen to the
bishopric of Rouen. 1

As a bishop, Eligius was as conscientious as he had
proved himself when a layman. He laboured indefatigably
at the conversion of the half-Christian, half heathen
Flemings, and at making his clergy lights to the world. S.
Ouen has preserved to us a most precious sermon of Eligius,
which throws much light on the superstitious practices then
in vogue among the people. He warns his people not to
regard sneezing as ominous, except, of course, of the coming

* " Consecrati siinuis gratis ab episcopis pariter episcopi ego Rodatno (sic), ills



Dec. ..] S, Eligius. 7

on of a heavy cold in the head, nor to pay superstitious
regard to the songs of birds, nor to the days on which they
leave home such as the first day of the new moon, or the
eclipses; he forbids the observance of the first of January
with feasting, dancing, and profane ceremonies, or the
festival of S. John the Baptist, and the solstices, with capers,
"carols," and diabolical songs. 1 The observance of the
month of May he specially condemns ; as also the festivals of
moths and mice. 2 The lighting of torches along the side of
a road not apparently for the sake of giving light, but for
some superstitious reason was to be avoided. He reprobates
the custom of priests writing passages of Scripture on scraps
of paper to be hung round the neck as charms. 3 Such
charms, says S. Eligius, very sensibly, are not a Christian
remedy, but devil's poison. . The passing of cattle through a
hole made in the earth, or through a hole in a tree, is also to
be renounced ; women must not wear amber round their
necks, or in their zones, with invocation of Minerva. Only
fools think, says Eligius, that madmen are affected by the
changes of the moon. Quack doctors and witches are not
to be resorted to in cases of sickness, but the efficacy of
holy unction is to be tried, and that will prove of avail in
recovering the sick of his malady* Fountains are not to be
held sacred, trees which receive veneration are to be cut
down, and whoever finds little representations of feet hung
up in cross roads is to fling them away. 4 The sermon goes

1 " Nullus in festivitate S. Joannis .... solstitia, aut vallationes, vel saltationes,
aut caraulus aut cantica diabolica exerceat."
3 " Dies tinearum vel murum."

3 An Irishman came to me one day in Yorkshire, and asked me for a " Gospel," i.e.,
for a text to be written on a scrap of paper to hang round his child's neck, "as a
preservative against measles and looseness of the bowels." These charms are com-
monly sought by the Irish of their priests, and are sewn up in little bags. They pay
a fee for them.

4 " Pedum similitudines, quos per bivia ponunt, fieri vetate, et, ubi inveneritis, igni
cremate." The Council of Auxerre (589) forbade (art. 3) "nee sculptilia aut pede aut
homine lineo fieri prajsumat."


on to give very wholesome moral advice, which, however,
contains little that is peculiar. 1

S. Eligius found most paganism hanging about the neigh-
bourhood of Antwerp, 2 and he is said to have converted
many Suevi. One would hardly have expected to find Swa-
bians so far north as his diocese.

But if Eligius pursued the conversion of heathen and the
perfecting of professed Christians as a duty, he prosecuted
the discovery of the bones of martyrs with the zest of
pleasure. Noyon flattered itself that it was the scene of
the martyrdom of S. Quentin. If Quentin had died there,
he must have been buried there. If buried there, he might
be found. Eligius determined to discover the bones. Several
persons represented to him that if buried, Quentin must
have dissolved to dust long ago. But Eligius was above con-
viction by such arguments as these. He vowed not to eat a
morsel till he had found a body which would, at all events,
pass for that of S. Quentin. He turned up the earth of the
church floor. The sacred precincts resembled a mine.
Workmen grubbed here, and grubbed there, in all the most
likely places, but found nothing. Eligius had passed three
days without food, when at last, in the most unlikely place
for a martyr's body to be laid, in the ditch of the church,
the labourers came on a tomb of stones, and within it were
bones and nails. The enthusiasm of Eligius passed into the
wildest transports of exultation, when, on pulling the teeth

1 Except, perhaps, this : "Qui ante legitimas nuptias habere concubinam prsesumit,
pejus peccat quam qui adulterium committit."

* In heathen times phallic worship prevailed in the neighbourhood of Antwerp.
A phallus was sculptured over one of the city gates ; this has been obliterated only
in recent times. Christianity so far sanctioned this heathen superstition as to make
the " sacrosanctum praeputium" the palladium of Antwerp. In like manner in Elsass
in heathen times the club of Hercules received sacred worship. When Elsass was
Christianized this was converted into the staff of S. Peter given to S. Maternus. Frag-
ments still receive veneration. The " sacrosanctum praeputium " has been made to
disappear ; it has not, at all events, been presented to the adoration of the faithful
since the riots of 1566.


Dec.x.] Eligius. 9

out of the jaw for distribution to other churches, a drop of
some slimy matter that looked like blood exhibited itself at
the root of one of the fangs. The nails found in the vault
had probably belonged to a wooden coffin, but their presence
served to convince Eligius that he had the genuine body of
the martyr, who, according to legend, was put to death by
means of nails driven into his head. 1 After this discovery
Eligius set to work to unearth other saints, and was so
happy as to discover also S. Piatus, also with nails. He
made gold shrines for all these relics, and also for the bodies
of SS. Crispin and Crispinian, which he exhumed at Soissons.
At Beauvais he discovered miraculously the body of S.
Lucian, the companion of S. Quentin, and he made a shrine
for him also.

He attended the council of Chalons-sur-Saone in 644 or
650 the date cannot be fixed with certainty ; and it was
on his return from this council that he took charge of S.
Godeberta, as is related in the life of that saint (April n).

S. Eligius died in 659, on December 1, in the midst of
his faithful servants, beloved by his flock.

The relics of S. Eligius are still in the cathedral of Noyon.
His head is in the parish church of S. Andre at Chelles.
Other relics, teeth, bits of bone,* &c, at S. Ba-rthelemy,
Noyon, the cathedral at Bruges, S. Martin at Tournai, S.
Pierre at Douai. In the cathedral at Paris an arm.

In art he is represented erroneously as a farrier, with a
horse's leg in his hand ; the story going that as he was one
day shoeing a horse, the animal proved restive, so he took
the leg off, shod it, and put it on again, without evil conse-

1 It is, however, quite possible that this discovery of nails in the vault containing
the supposed relics may have originated the fable of the martyrdom by means of



10 Lives of the Saints. [Dea*

December 2.

SS. Aurelia, Eosebius, Marceli.us, and Others, MM. at

Rome ; a.d. 256.
SS. Se.verus, Securus, Januarius, and Victorinus, MM. in

Online LibraryS. (Sabine) Baring-GouldThe lives of the saints (Volume 15) → online text (page 1 of 32)