Eleutherius of Tournai, St.

views updated


Bishop; b. Tournai, 456?; d. 531? According to the Vita s. Medardi (2.6) written c. 600, Eleutherius, of Gallo-Roman origin, after a youth passed in royal surroundings, became count of Tournai, and then its bishop; only his accession to the episcopate (497500) seems incontestable. As bishop of Tournai, probably its first, he is credited with the establishment there of an organic Christian community. Since the vitae of Eleutherius (the earliest was written toward the end of the ninth century) can be accepted only with the greatest reserveif at allthe facts of his life are almost impossible to establish. Moreover, both the diocesan synod believed to have been summoned by him (520), and the writings attributed to him (Patrologia Latina, ed. J. P. Migne, 217 v. 65:6982) are spurious.

Feast: Feb. 20.

Bibliography: Vita s. Medardi, Monumenta Germaniae Auctores antiquissimi (Berlin 1825) 4.2:68. Acta Sanctorum Feb. 3:190210. Historia Tornacensis, Monumenta Germaniae Scriptores (Berlin 1825) 14:328329, 356357. Bibliotheca hagiographica latina antiquae ct mediae aetatis (Brussels 18981901) 1:245570. h. leclercq, Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienneet de liturgie, ed. f. cabrol, h. leclercq and h. i. marrou (Paris 19071953) 15.2:254043. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, ed. h. thurston and d. attwater (New York 1956) 1:381. a. d'haenens, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques (Paris 1912) 15:150153.

[g. m. cook]