Avitus (Avy), St.
AVITUS (AVY), ST.
Abbot of Micy; b. Auvergne, France, mid-fifth century; d. Châteaudun, France, June 17 c. 530. He entered religious life between 485 and 490 at the abbey of Ménat near Clermont. Desiring to embrace the life of a hermit, he left Ménat and journeyed with carileffus through the Loire Valley, finally settling at the abbey of Micy. Maximinus, who had been abbot there since c. 508, permitted him to lead a solitary existence nearby, but when Maximinus died in 520 the monks of the community sought out Avitus and made him their abbot. gregory of tours relates (Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum 1:113, 810) that the abbot pleaded unsuccessfully with King Clodimir, the son of clovis i, to spare the lives of sigismund of Burgundy and his family who had been captured in war. Avitus was buried in the church of Saint-Georges at Orléans. His oldest biography dates from the ninth century and some modern scholars conjecture that the vita confuses two monks named Avitus, one who was abbot of Micy and the other, a monk at Ménat.
Feast: June 17.
Bibliography: Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum 3:380–385. Acta Sanctorum June 4:282–291. Bibliotheca hagiograpica latina antiquae et mediae aetatis (Brussels 1898–1901) 879–883. a. poncelet, Analecta Bollandiana 24 (1905) 5–97. c. belmon, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 5:1204–05. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, ed. h. thurston and d. attwater (New York 1956) 2:564–565.
[b. j. comaskey]