Epiphanius of Pavia, St.
EPIPHANIUS OF PAVIA, ST.
Fifth-century Italian bishop; b. c. 438–9; d. Pavia, c. 496–7. His 30-year episcopate described by his biographer, Bp. Ennodius of Pavia (c. 512–521), demonstrates the unlimited charity of the bishops and their influence on civil authority in the difficult years when Roman domination in the West was crumbling. According to the vita, Epiphanius undertook two diplomatic missions: one to reconcile the Roman General Ricimer with the Emperor Anthemius at Rome (467–472); the other for Emperor Nepos with the Visigothic King Euric at Toulouse (474–5).
Epiphanius helped rebuild Pavia after it had been pillaged (476) by the Ostrogothic king of Italy and by the Rugi, and mitigated the sufferings of his people burdened with vexatious laws and intolerable taxes by Odovacar, or led off into captivity. With Bp. Laurentius of Milan he visited the Ostrogothic King theodoric (the great) at Ravenna (493–4) and shortly after, with Bp. Victor of Turin, persuaded the Burgundian King Gundobad at Lyons to release 6,000 Italian captives. His last journey of mercy took him, in midwinter, to Theodoric at Ravenna for the people of the Province of Liguria. When returning to Pavia he fell ill, and he died shortly after he reentered the city. His remains were stolen from Pavia in 962 and placed in the cathedral at Hildesheim.
Feast: Jan. 21.
Bibliography: ennodius of pavia, Vita and Dictio, ed. f. vogel (Monumenta Germaniae Auctores antiquissimi 7; 1885) 84–109; ed. g. hartel (Corpus scriptorum ecclesiasticorum latinorum 6; 1882) 331–383, 531–539; The Life of Saint Epiphanius, tr. g. m. cook (Catholic University of America, Studies in Medievel and Renaissance Latin, Language and Literature 14; 1942); new tr. in The Fathers of the Church: A New Translation, ed. r.j. defarrari 15 (1952) 301–351. Analecta Bollandiana 17 (1898) 123–127, the Anonymous of Hildesheim. g. h. pertz, ed., Translatio Sancti Epiphanii (Monumenta Germaniae Scriptores (Berlin 1825–) 4; 1841) 248–251. f. savio, Gli antichi vescovi d'Italia dalle origini al 1300, 4 v. (1898–1932) 4:350–355. a. rimoldi, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques (Paris 1912–) 15:615–617.
[g. m. cook]