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Aunarius of Auxerre, St.


Bishop of Auxerre; b. near Orlèanais, date unknown; d. Auxerre, France, Sept. 25, 601. As a youth of noble birth, Aunarius (Anacharius, Aunachaire, Aunacharius, Aunaire) was sent to the royal court of Burgundy, which he soon left in order to become a priest. Trained by (St.) Syagrius (Siacre, d. 600), Bishop of Autun, he was later elected and consecrated bishop of Auxerre (July 31, 561), participating in the councils of Paris (573) and Mâcon (583, 585). He is famous for the 45 canons of a diocesan synod of Auxerre (578?, 588?), some of which discuss marriage and superstitions. Concerned for the cult of the saints, Aunarius arranged for a transcription of the martyrology attributed to St. Jerome (592), and from that MS all extant copies are derived. He also provided vitae of his predecessors, amator (390418) and germain (418448), and organized liturgical prayer in the diocese. He received two letters from Pope Pelagius II announcing the sending of relics. Aunarius was buried in the abbatial church of Saint-Germain. His relics, transferred to the crypt in 859 and stolen by the Calvinists in 1567, were recovered and are recognized as authentic.

Feast: Sept. 25.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum Sept. 7:79102. hericus, "De gestis episcoporum Antissiodorensium," Patrologia Latina, ed. j. p. migne (Paris 187890) 138:231236. Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Concilia 1.1: 178184. j. lebeuf, Mémoires concernant l'histoire civile et ecclésiastique d'Auxerre, ed. a. challe and m. quantin, 4 v. (Auxerre 184855) v.1. g. le bras, "L'Organisation du diocèse d'Auxerre à l'époque mérovingienne," Études de sociologie religieuse (Paris 1950) 1:2738.

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