Desiderius Rhodonensis, St.
DESIDERIUS RHODONENSIS, ST.
Martyr; d. near Belfort, Alsace, France, Sept. 17 c. 670–3. According to the ninth-century vita, he was a bishop, and as he was returning from a pilgrimage to Rome, he was killed tempore Childerici regis together with his companion, the deacon Raginfridus, by brigands. The king referred to is probably Childeric II (d. 673). Desiderius was buried at the place of his murder in an oratory dedicated to St. Martin, and this chapel was later known as Saint-Dizier-l'Evêque. The building at his tomb of a church, given c. 735–7 by Count Everard of Alsace to the Abbey of murbach, is evidence that his cult existed in the eighth century. His relics were translated to the abbey before 1041, and he is honored as a martyr in Alsace. No early tradition associates this St. Desiderius with Rennes.
Feast: Sept. 18.
Bibliography: Acta Sanctae Sedis 5 Sept. (1863) 788–792. Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum 6:55–63. r. aubert, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 14:409–410. r. aigrain, Catholicisme 3:751–752. j. clauss, Die Heiligen des Elsass (Düsseldorf 1935) 52–53, 199.
[v. i. j. flint]