Bonitus of Clermont, St.

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Bishop and ascetic; b. Auvergne, France, c. 623; d. Lyons, Jan. 15, 706. His life is known through an anonymous contemporary biography by a monk of the abbey of Manglieu in Auvergne. Bonitus (Bont) was born to a Roman senatorial family and educated in grammar, rhetoric, and Roman law. He was attached to the court of Sigebert III (634656) and then made rector of the Prefecture of Marseilles under Pepin of Heristal. He succeeded his older brother, St. Avitus, as bishop of Clermont sometime after 690. Concerned over the form of his election, he resigned (or, as it has been suggested, was forced to resign) and retired to the abbey of Manglieu. After a leisurely pilgrimage to Rome, he returned to France and reached Lyons in 702. The translation of his relics in 712 was accompanied by miracles, and his remains became the object of fervent veneration in Auvergne and surrounding provinces.

Feast: Jan. 15 (Clermont, Autun, Lyons, Marseilles, Moulins, and Saint-Flour).

Bibliography: j. mabillon, Acta sanctorum ordinis S. Benedicti (Venice 173340) 3:7889. Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum 6:110139. l. brÉhier, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 9:843847. j. l. baudot and l. chaussin, Vies des saints et des bienhereux selon l'ordre du calendrier avec l'historique des fêtes (Paris 193556) 1:312314.

[p. blecker]