Firmin of Amiens, St.

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First Bishop of the Diocese of Amiens, France, third-century martyr. He seems to have been a native of Pamplona in Navarre. He was converted to Christianity by (St.) Honestus, a disciple of (St.) Saturninus of Toulouse, and consecrated bishop by Honoratus of Toulouse. Firmin became a missionary in southern France. Later, after some years in northern France, he decided to settle at amiens, where, according to tradition, he was the first bishop. He was martyred there sometime during the reigns of Maximian and Diocletian (284305). A church, at first dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and now known as Saint-Acheul's, was built over his tomb. His relics were translated to the cathedral in the seventh century. There is much that is obscure in the life of Firmin since no mention of him is found before the eighth century. In 1186 his relics were translated to Pamplona. Sources of the eighth and ninth centuries for Amiens name a second Bp. Firmin of Amiens, a confessor (feast: Sept. 1). The son of a senator converted by the first Firmin, he was renowned for his missionary work in the region of Amiens. It is often thought that Bishop Firmin the martyr and Bishop Firmin the confessor were one and the same man.

Feast: Sept. 25.

Bibliography: l. duchesne, Fastes épiscopaux de l'ancienne Gaule (Paris 190715) 3:122127. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, ed. h. thurston and d. attwater (New York 1956) 3:632633. g. bardy, Catholicisme 4:131819. j. l. baudot and l. chaussin, Vies des saints et des bienheueux selon l'ordre du calendrier avec l'historique des fêtes (Paris 193556) 9:514516.

[j. a. corbett]