Patron and probably first bishop of Zamora; place and date of birth unknown (sometimes given as Tarazona, Spain, c. 939); d. Zamora(?), Oct. 5, 916. He was the colleague of St. froilÁn in the organizing of monastic life in northwestern Spain. His name appears in the cartularies of Sahagun and Santiago. Zamora was destroyed by the Moors at the end of the tenth century, but, when the diocese was restored in the twelfth, the cult of St. Attilanus spread widely. In 1260, thanks to a miraculous revelation, a shepherd discovered his relics in Zamora; his head was later stolen and taken to Toledo. A twelfth-century vita that ascribes his origin to Tarragona lacks authenticity; and the claim that Urban II canonized him is false. He was included in the Roman martyrology in 1583.
Feast: Oct. 3; Aug. 28 (in Tarragona).
Bibliography: a. lambert, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 5:169–173. b. de gaiffier, "Les Notices hispaniques du martyrologe romain," Analecta Bollandiana 58 (1940) 80–89. e. fernÁndez-prieto dominguez, Actas de visitas reales y otras realizadas por acontecimientos extraordinarios a los cuerpos santos de San Ildefonso y San Atilano … (Zamora 1973).
[e. p. colbert]