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E05923: In the anonymous Life of the Jura Fathers, the author recounts that after becoming abbot of Condat, *Eugendus (ascetic in the Jura mountains, ob. 512/515, S02182) immediately obtained the power of carrying out miracles and healings, and that many sought from him letters that could protect them; 496/515. Written in Latin at Condat in the Jura mountains (modern Saint-Claude in eastern Gaul), c. 515/520.

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posted on 08.07.2018, 00:00 by kwojtalik
The Life of the Jura Fathers 139 (Life of Saint Eugendus the Abbot)

This passage comes after the author's account (§ 138) of the difficult circumstances in which Eugendus became abbot of Condat.

At non ille diuinae pietatis obtutus famulum suum passus est prolixa fatigatione uexari. Confestim namque ipsi potentiae ac uirtutis suae dexteram affluentissima signorum largitate porrexit, dando atque ostendendo per seruum suum sanitatum dona, prodigia multa, ita ut summae saeculi potestates sospitari se crebro ac benedici eius litteris exorarent nec se clementiam diuinam crederent habere placatam, nisi prius Christi amici gratiam siue suffragia aut visu aut litteris potirentur electa.

'But divine compassion, watching over its servant, did not allow Eugendus to be tormented by prolonged difficulties. Immediately it extended to him, with an overflowing abundance of signs, the power and strength of its right hand, giving and demonstrating through its servant so many miracles and gifts of healing that the greatest and most powerful people of the time frequently asked to be protected and blessed by his letters. They did not believe that they could make atonement and receive divine clemency unless they had first obtained, either in person or through a letter, the special favor or intercessions of the friend of Christ.'

Text: Martine 1968, 388. Translation: Vivian et al. 1999, 166.

History

Evidence ID

E05923

Saint Name

Eugendus, ascetic in the Jura mountains in Gaul, ob. AD 510 : S02182

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Lives

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

512

Evidence not after

525

Activity not before

495

Activity not after

515

Place of Evidence - Region

Gaul and Frankish kingdoms

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Condat

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

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

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Visiting/veneration of living saint

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle during lifetime Unspecified miracle Healing diseases and disabilities

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - abbots Other lay individuals/ people

Cult Activities - Relics

Handwriting of a saint

Source

The Life of the Jura Fathers (Vita patrum Iurensium) consists of three vitae – of Romanus (ob. 455/460; PCBE 4, 'Romanus 3'), Lupicinus (ob. 472/475; PCBE 4, 'Lupicinus 4'), and Eugendus (ob. 512/515; PCBE 4, 'Eugendus'). Romanus and his brother Lupicinus were the founders of the ascetic communities which grew up in the 5th century in remote rural areas in the Jura mountains of eastern Gaul; Eugendus was their eventual successor in the late 5th century. Romanus' community was located at Condat (Condadisco), modern Saint-Claude, where he seems to have settled sometime in the 430s (to judge from the not always clear chronology of his Life); within a few years he was joined by his younger brother Lupicinus. As the size of the community grew, Lupicinus eventually established his own settlement nearby at Lauconnus (modern Saint-Lupicin). Romanus also founded a female monastic community, headed by his sister (whose name is unknown), at Balma (La Balme, modern Saint-Romain-des-Roches), a few miles from Condat. The Life of the Jura Fathers was written after the death of Eugendus, which occurred in the period 512/515 (the date is established by Avitus of Vienne, Letter 19), probably soon after. François Massai pointed out that in spite of the author's demonstrative reverence for Eugendus, the Life attributes no posthumous miracles to him (Massai 1971, 57), suggesting that it was composed only a short time after his death. More debatably, Massai argued (Massai 1971, 50, 56) that references in the text to the shrine of the Theban Legion at Saint-Maurice-d'Agaune – notably the preface (E05898) and § 44 (E07851) – seem to depict it before its refoundation by the Burgundian prince Sigismund in 515. While not dating the work quite so early, Martine 1968, 56, argued that it influenced the Life of the Abbots of Agaune (E06267), which he dated to the mid 520s. The Life of the Jura Fathers is anonymous, but the author discloses various details about his life: he seems to have been a native of the Jura region, and he himself was a member of the community at Condat. He knew Eugendus personally, and regularly emphasises that he was a witness of events in Eugendus' time and was told about many earlier events by Eugendus himself. His knowledge of Romanus and Lupicinus came from the traditions of the community and the reminiscences of Eugendus and other older monks (by the time the Life of the Jura Fathers was written, thirty to forty years had passed since the death of Lupicinus, and fifty to sixty since the death of Romanus). On the author, and the information that can be established about him, see Martine 1968, 45-53; Vivian et al. 1999, 48-52. The author was well-read in Latin ascetic literature: he was certainly familiar with the works of Sulpicius Severus on Martin of Tours, which he sometimes quotes directly. Allusions and references in his work suggest that he also knew the Life of Antony (probably the Latin version by Evagrius, E00930), Jerome's ascetic Lives, Rufinus' Latin version of Eusebius' Church History, and works by Basil of Caesarea (in translation) and John Cassian. See Vivian et al. 1999, 50-51. For full discussion of the text, author, and date, see primarily the introduction to Martine 1968; see also Vivian et al. 1999, 47-61. For brief accounts of the sites associated with Romanus, Lupicinus and Eugendus, see Vieillard-Troiekouroff 1976, 249-250, 262-264, 273-274. The lives of Romanus and Lupicinus are also recounted by Gregory of Tours in his Life of the Fathers 1 (see E00003, E00004). (David Lambert)

Discussion

This is one of a number of passages in the Life of Eugendus which relate how letters which he wrote had miraculous powers of protection, healing, or exorcism (see also E05924, E05925, E05945). The depiction of Eugendus' letters as having these powers echoes an incident in the Life of Martin in which a girl is healed by a letter from Martin: for full discussion, see E05925.

Bibliography

Edition: Martine, F., Vie des pères du Jura (Sources Chrétiennes 142; Paris: Les Éditions du Cerf, 1968). English translation: Vivian, T., Vivian, K., and Russell, J.B. The Life of the Jura Fathers (Cistercian Studies Series 178; Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications, 1999). Further reading: Massai, F., "‘La «Vita patrum iurensium» et les débuts du monachisme à Saint-Maurice d’Agaune," in: J. Autenrieth and F. Brunhölzl (eds.), Festschrift Bernard Bischoff zu seinem 65. Geburtstag (Stuttgart, 1971), 43-69. Vieillard-Troiekouroff, M., Les monuments religieux de la Gaule d'après les œuvres de Grégoire de Tours (Paris, 1976).

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