Aurelian of Arles, St.
AURELIAN OF ARLES, ST.
Archbishop; d. Lyons, France, June 16, 551. He was elected to the See of Arles to succeed Auxanius in 546. Pope vigilius wrote four letters to him between 546 and 550, the first of which (Aug. 23, 546) named him papal vicar for Gaul, i.e., for the kingdom of Childebert I (d. 558), son of clovis, and granted him the pallium. On Oct. 28, 549, Aurelian signed the acta of the Fifth Synod of Orléans; his signature appears in the second place, immediately after that of the archbishop of Lyons.
In its first canon the synod condemned eutyches and nestorius; it discussed further the matter of the three chapters. This problem concerned three bishops, theodore of mopsuestia, Ibas of Edessa, and theodoret of cyr, whom the Monophysites particularly detested and whom Emperor justinian i felt should be condemned by papal approval of the Three Chapters. Consulted on this subject by Aurelian, Vigilius, who was not disposed to give in to the emperor and anxious to avoid weakening the authority of the Council of chalcedon of 451, replied in vague terms on April 29, 558. He made a special point of begging the bishop of Arles to use his influence with Childebert to prevent Totila, the Arian King of the Ostrogoths, who had captured Rome, from harming the Catholics living there.
Showered with endowments by Childebert, Aurelian founded a monastery and a convent at Arles. His rule for the former, consisting of a prologue, 55 chapters, and an appendix, was based on that of St. benedict and of his predecessor caesarius of arles; it later entered the collection of benedict of aniane. Aurelian wished the monks to be educated, imposed a strict cloister, and went beyond the Benedictine rule in prescribing additional Psalms for the hours. The rule for the nuns of Saint Mary of Arles, in 40 articles, was, with variations, modeled on the rule for the monks. The archbishop was interred in the basilica of the Holy Apostles (Saint-Nizier), where his epitaph was discovered in 1308.
Feast: June 16.
Bibliography: Regula, Patrologia Latina, ed. j. p. migne (Paris 1878–90) 68:385–408. Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Epitolae 3:124–126, letter to Théodebert. Acta Sanctorum June 4:91–94. Gallia Christiana 1:537–539. p. jaffe, Regesta pontificum romanorum ab condita ecclesia ad annum post Christum natum 1198, ed. f. kaltenbrunner (Graz 1956) 1:119–122. c. j. von hefele, Histoire des conciles d'après les documents originaux (Paris 1907–38) 3.1:157–164, synod of Orléans of 549. l. royer, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 4:231–243, esp. 235–236, 242. s. bosq, ibid. 5:741. h. fuhrmann, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 1957–65) 2 1:1107.