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Eucherius of Lyons, St.


Theologian and bishop of Lyons, 432 to 441; d. Lyons, 449. Eucherius came from a Christian, senatorial family. He received an excellent education, was married to Galla, and had achieved high office in the imperial service when he was chosen (c. 432) as bishop of Lyons. His son Salonius became bishop of Geneva before 440; his son (St.) Veranus, who later became bishop of Venice (before 450; d. c. 480), accompanied him to the Council of Orange in 441. On agreement with his wife, Eucherius had earlier retired to the monastic life at Lérins and later to a more solitary way of life on the island of Leros.

Eucherius was known for his preaching. Of his writings, two ascetical tracts in letter form have been preserved: De laude eremi is addressed to St. hilary of arles (c. 427) and De contemptu mundi, to a pagan relative named Valerian. He also dedicated two exegetical works to his sons: for Salonius, an Instructionum libri duo, in which he followed jerome in explaining Greek and Hebrew words; and Formulae spiritalis intelligentiae, explaining spiritual exegesis for Veranus. These two works are of importance for the history of the Latin text of the Bible and the vulgate in France. Eucherius is probably the author of the Passio Acaunensium martyrum, the oldest account of the theban legion martyrs. The esteem in which Eucherius was held by contemporaries is attested by the dedication of the second part of John cassian's Collationes in his honor; as well as by his correspondence with sidonius apollinaris, Hilary of Arles, Rusticus, paulinus of nola, and salvian.

Feast: Nov. 16.

Bibliography: Patrologia Latina, ed. j. p. migne, 217 v. (Paris 187890) 50:6861214. c. wotke, ed., Corpus scriptorum ecclesiasticorum latinorum 31.1 (1894), o. bardenhewer, Geschichte der altkirchlichen Literatur (Freiburg 19131932) 4:567571. b. altaner, Patrology, tr. h. graef (New York 1960) 541. r. Étaix, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques (Paris 1912) 15:131517. g. bardy, Revue biblique 42 (1933) 1420. a. monaci, Revista di archeologia cristiana 10 (1933) 1926, Passio. b. altaner, Miscellanea Isidoriana (Rome 1936) 1132. a. e. anspach, ibid. 340343. j. g. hirte, Doctrina scripturistica sancti Eucherii (Rome 1940). n. k. chadwick, Poetry and Letters in Early Christian Gaul (London 1955) 151160. c. curti, "La Passio Acaunensium martyrum, " Convivium Dominicum (Catania 1959) 299327. s. pricoco, Per una nuova edizione del De contemptu mundi di Eucherio di Lione (Turin 1967).

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