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E05230: Gregory of Tours, in his Miracles of Julian (29), recounts how the correct day for the festival of *Julian (martyr of Brioude, S00035), celebrated at Brioude (central Gaul), was identified by *Germanus (bishop of Auxerre, ob. c. 448, S00455). Written in Latin in Clermont and Tours (central and north-west Gaul), 573/587.

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posted on 19.03.2018, 00:00 by kwojtalik
Gregory of Tours, Miracles of Julian (Liber de passione et virtutibus sancti Iuliani martyris) 29

Huius festivitatis tempus ignara plebs maesta pendebat, nesciens diem, in quo martyr beatus deberet pro virtutis ac passionis gloria honorari. Et haec ignorantia usque ad beatum Germanum Autissiodorensim antestitem est protracta. Factum est autem, ut antedictus pontifex Brivatem adveniret, sciscitatusque ab incolis, quo tempore huius sacra celebrarentur, se nescire respondent. Tunc ille: 'Oremus', inquit, 'et fortassis nobis haec Domini potentia revelabit'. Quod cum fecissent, mane orto, convocatis senioribus loci, ait, quinto Kalendarum mensis septimi caelebrandam esse festivitatem. Ex hoc nunc devotes adveniens populus, vota praesoli reddens, refert et animae et corporis medicinam.

‘Because the people did not know the day on which the blessed martyr ought to be honoured for the glory of his power and his suffering, they were sad and in their uncertainty disregarded the time for his festival. This uncertainty extended until [the episcopacy of] the blessed bishop Germanus of Auxerre. For it happened that when the aforementioned bishop visited Brioude, he asked the inhabitants when [Julian’s] festival was celebrated. They replied that they did not know. Then Germanus said: ‘ Let us pray, and perhaps the power of the Lord will reveal this date to us.’ They prayed, and at daybreak Germanus announced to the elders from this region who had gathered that the festival must be celebrated on the fifth day before the calends of the seventh month [= 28 August]. Thereafter the people now piously gather, offer prayers to their champion, and leave with medicine for their soul and for their body.’

Text: Krusch 1969, 126. Translation: Van Dam 1993, 182-183.

History

Evidence ID

E05230

Saint Name

Julian, martyr of Brioude : S00035

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Collections of miracles

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

570

Evidence not after

587

Activity not before

418

Activity not after

448

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Tours Clermont

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Tours Tours Tours Toronica urbs Prisciniacensim vicus Pressigny Turonorum civitas Ceratensis vicus Céré Clermont Tours Tours Toronica urbs Prisciniacensim vicus Pressigny Turonorum civitas Ceratensis vicus Céré

Major author/Major anonymous work

Gregory of Tours

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Visiting graves and shrines

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops

Source

Gregory, of a prominent Clermont family with extensive ecclesiastical connections, was bishop of Tours from 573 until his death (probably in 594). He was the most prolific hagiographer of all Late Antiquity. He wrote four books on the miracles of Martin of Tours, one on those of Julian of Brioude, and two on the miracles of other saints (the Glory of the Martyrs and Glory of the Confessors), as well as a collection of twenty short Lives of sixth-century Gallic saints (the Life of the Fathers). He also included a mass of material on saints in his long and detailed Histories, and produced two independent short works: a Latin version of the Acts of Andrew and a Latin translation of the story of The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus. The Miracles of Julian, full title Martyrdom and Miracles of the Martyr Saint Julian (Liber de passione et virtutibus sancti Iuliani martyris), consists of 50 chapters. It opens with a brief account of Julian's martyrdom and of the discovery of his head in Vienne (chapters 1 and 2), followed by 48 chapters of miracles effected by the saint, primarily at his tomb in Brioude (south of Clermont, central Gaul), but also through relics distributed in other areas of Gaul (and in one case, chapter 33, even in an unnamed 'city of the East'). Brioude and the shrine of Julian are within the ancient territory of Clermont, Gregory's native city, and the attachment that he and his wider family felt towards Julian is manifest in a number of stories in the Miracles, including evidence that Gregory often attended the feast of the saint on 28 August. In chapter 50 Gregory addresses Julian as his patron and asks for his support through the remainder of his life. Gregory wrote the Miracles of Julian over an extended period, very possibly starting before he became bishop of Tours in 573. Statements he makes in chapters 32 and 34 suggest that he initially planned to draw the book to a close with less chapters than the fifty we have, and that this was soon after his consecration to Tours; but, learning later of more miracles (primarily from Aredius of Limoges, chapters 41-45) and himself witnessing a further miracle (chapter 46a), he extended the book to 50 chapters, completing these in the early or mid 580s. Chapter 50 addresses the reader in a valedictory tone, with a personal invocation of Julian; but it is possible that the work was never published in Gregory's lifetime. For discussion of the work, see: Krusch B., Gregorii Turonensis Gregorii episcopi Turonensis Miracula et opera minora (Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum I.2; 2nd ed.; Hannover, 1969), 2. Monod G., Études critiques sur les sources de l’histoire mérovingienne, 1e partie (Paris, 1872), 42–45. Van Dam, R., Saints and their Miracles in Late Antique Gaul (Princeton, 1993), 162-163. Shaw R., "Chronology, Composition and Authorial Conception in the Miracula," in: A.C. Murray (ed.), A Companion to Gregory of Tours (Leiden/Boston, 2015), 102–140.

Bibliography

Edition: Krusch B., Gregorii episcopi Turonensis Miracula et opera minora (Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum I.2; 2nd ed.; Hannover 1969), 112–134. Translation: de Nie. G., Lives and Miracles: Gregory of Tours (Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library 39; Cambridge MA, 2015). Van Dam, R., Saints and their Miracles in Late Antique Gaul (Princeton, 1993), 200–303. Further reading: Murray A.C. (ed.), A Companion to Gregory of Tours (Leiden and Boston, 2015). Shanzer, D., "So Many Saints – So Little Time ... the Libri Miraculorum of Gregory of Tours," Journal of Medieval Latin 13 (2003), 19–63.

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Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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