Anianus (Aignan) of Orléans, St.

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Bishop; b. Vienne, France; d. Orléans, c. 453. In a letter to Bishop Prosper of Orléans, Sidonius Apollinaris confirmed that Orléans was saved from Attila and his Huns in 451 by the intervention of Anianus (Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Auctores Antiquissimi 8:147). A century later gregory of tours gave a more detailed and picturesque account (Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum 3:108117). It seems that Anianus's contribution to saving Orléans lay in his organization of the defenses and in rallying the townsmen to resistance. The military defeat of Attila must be attributed to the Roman general, Aetius. The relics of Anianus are venerated in Orléans in the church that bears his name. F. Dupanloup founded a teaching and nursing congregation in Orléans, the Sisters of St. Anianus, which was approved in 1852.

Feast: Nov. 17.

Bibliography: p. barbier, Vie de S. Aignan (1912). j. l. baudot and l. chaussin, Vies des saints et des bienhereux selon l'ordre du calendrier avec l'historique des fêtes (Paris 193556) 11:559562. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, ed. h. thurston and d. attwater (New York 1956) 4:367. e. ewig, Lexicon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 195765) 1:561562.

[b. l. marthaler]