Feast of Sts. Amator of Auxerre, Germanus of Auxerre, Mamertinus of Auxerre, and Marcian of Auxerre (April 20)   1 comment

Above:  Gaul in 481

SAINT AMATOR OF AUXERRE (DIED 418)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Auxerre

His feast transferred from May 1

converted

SAINT GERMANUS OF AUXERRE (DIED 448)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Auxerre

His feast transferred from July 31

converted

SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE (DIED 462)

Roman Catholic Abbot

His feast transferred from March 30

oversaw

SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE (DIED CIRCA 488)

Roman Catholic Monk

His feast = April 20

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Once again it happened.  I started with one name I pulled from a book and uncovered a series of connections resulting in overlapping hagiographies.  This was a happy occasion, for such incidents help me learn of the reinforcing quality of Christian faith in community.

Our first link in this chain of holiness is St. Amator of Auxerre.  One ought not to confuse him with a hermit also named St. Amator.  No, this St. Amator was Bishop of Auxerre from 388 to 418, a time during which he converted the remaining heathens living within the borders of his diocese.  He also converted St. Germanus of Auxerre.

St. Germanus of Auxerre, born in that city, was a Gallic nobleman.  Well-educated, he practiced civil law and became a Western Roman imperial official in Gaul.  At this stage of his life the saint sought and enjoyed a wide variety of pleasures, many of them dubious.  One pleasure was hunting.  Another was hanging hunting “trophies” in a tree once used for pagan worship.  The latter aroused the ire of St. Amator, who had the tree cut down and the “trophies” burned.  St. Amator then forced St. Germanus to take the tonsure, become a deacon, and train to become his successor.  St. Germanus devoted the rest of his life to prayer, study, and charitable works.  He also succeeded St. Amator as Bishop of Auxerre.  As bishop (418-448) St. Germanus governed the diocese wisely, gave his possessions to help the poor, and built the St. Cosmas and St. Damien Monastery at Auxerre.  The saint died at Ravenna in 448, where he had pleaded for mercy for rebellious Bretons.

St. Germanus also converted St. Mamertinus of Auxerre, of whom we know little.  We do know, however, that St. Mamertinus was Abbot of the St. Cosmas and St. Damien Monastery.  One of his monks was St. Marcian of Auxerre.  A native of Bourges, St. Marcian fled to Auxerre to flee a Visigothic invasion.  At Auxerre St. Marcian became a lay brother.  He was responsible for tending to the animals, with whom he had a great rapport, whether they were wild or domesticated.  He was also renowned for his humility.  The saint’s reputation was so great that the abbey became St. Marcian Monastery after he died.

I think of an All Saints’ hymn, “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God.”  It reads in part:

….And one was a doctor, and one was a queen,

and one was a shepherdess on the green….

And one was a soldier, and one was a priest,

and one was killed by a fierce wild beast:

and there’s not any reason,

no, not the least,

why I shouldn’t be one too….

Be a saint, O reader, and influence others positively.  Set off a chain reaction of holiness.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 28, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ANNA JULIA HAYWOOD COOPER, EDUCATOR

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Lord God, you have surrounded us with so great a cloud of witnesses.

Grant that we, encouraged by the examples of your servants

Saint Amator of Auxerre,

Saint Germanus of Auxerre,

Saint Mamertinus of Auxerre,

and Saint Marcian of Auxerre,

may persevere in the course that is set before us and, at the last,

share in your eternal joy with all the saints in light,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.   Amen.  

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 9:1-10

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Luke 6:20-23

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 59

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One response to “Feast of Sts. Amator of Auxerre, Germanus of Auxerre, Mamertinus of Auxerre, and Marcian of Auxerre (April 20)

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  1. Pingback: Feast of St. Patiens of Lyons (September 11) « SUNDRY THOUGHTS

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