Feast of St. Patiens of Lyons (September 11)   Leave a comment

Above:  A Map of Gaul in the Roman Empire

SAINT PATIENS OF LYONS (DIED CIRCA 480)

Roman Catholic Archbishop

The 400s CE (labeled that after that fact) intrigue me.  In Western Europe the Western Roman Empire faded away, the title of Emperor entering the dustbin of history in 476.  The empire had gone away by then; its demise had been gradual.  St. Patiens witnessed the end of the Western Roman Empire; he outlived his country.

St. Patiens functioned as Archbishop of Lyons from circa 450.  He lived simply, led successful missionary efforts, resisted Arianism, and gave his income to help the poor.  He also had to cope with an invasion of Goths and to feed to thousands of people and supervise the rebuilding of many church buildings in the wake thereof.  And he oversaw the construction (as opposed to repair and rebuilding) of other church buildings.  St. Patiens won the approval of St. Sidonius Apollinaris (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/feast-of-st-sidonius-apollinaris-st-eucherius-of-lyon-and-his-descendants-april-1/), who wrote a laudatory poem about him.

St. Patiens was also a peacemaker.  The Bishop of Chalon-sur-Saone had died.  For some reason or set of reasons this event had created serious dissension in that diocese.  So St. Euphonius of Autun invited St. Patiens to participate in the reconciliation process.  Our saint accepted, of course.

(Aside:  I found almost no information about St. Euphonius of Autun.  I discovered variations on his name and at least two different years in which he might have died.  In simple terms, I know too little to write about him intelligently.)

St. Patiens also commissioned a priest, Constantius, to write a biography of St. Gemanus of Auxerre (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/feast-of-sts-amator-of-auxerre-germanus-of-auxerre-mamertinus-of-auxerre-and-marcian-of-auxerre-april-20/).  This work became famous and preserved facts of that saint’s life.

It seems that the main work of St. Patiens was to rebuilt the part of Christ’s Church of which he was shepherd.  And he did it well.  Faithfulness has not guaranteed success, of course.  St. Gregory Thaumaturgus (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/feast-of-sts-gregory-thaumaturgus-and-alexander-of-comana-the-charcoal-burner-august-11/) began his episcopate with seventeen Christians, labored faithfully for decades, and died with seventeen Christians.  But tangible results must have bolstered the spirits of St. Patiens.

May we–you, O reader, and I–labor faithfully in the tasks God has appointed for us.  And, whether or not we see tangible results, may we not grow weary.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 20, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS FLAVIAN II OF ANTIOCH AND ELIAS OF JERUSALEM, ROMAN CATHOLIC PATRIARCHS

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANSEGIUS OF FONTANELLE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

THE FEAST OF ELIZABETH CADY STANTON, AMELIA BLOOMER, SOJOURNER TRUTH, AND HARRIET ROSS TUBMAN, WITNESSES TO CIVIL RIGHTS FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS AND WOMEN

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

Almighty God, you have surrounded us with a  great cloud of witnesses:

Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of your servant Saint Patiens of Lyons,

may persevere in running the race that is set before us,

until at last we may with him attain to your eternal joy;

through Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 15

Hebrews 12:1-2

Matthew 25:31-40

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 724

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