Jura, Fathers of

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The Fathers of Jura is a monastic community founded by St. Romanus and his brother St. Lupicinus at Condat in the French Jura region. Romanus (b. c. 400) was trained in the monastery of ainay and went to Condat (now SaintClaude) to become a hermit. He was soon joined by Lupicinus. Their holiness was so edifying that others came in great numbers to join them, and the two were obliged to found the new monastery of Leuconne (now St. Lupicin), as well as a convent for cloistered nuns, La Beaume, the site of the present village of SaintRomaindelaRoche. The rule first followed by these monks was a composite, drawn from other existing rules and adapted to their own situation and needs. Time was given every day to prayer and reading; manual labor was stressed. In the beginning each monk lived in a separate cell, but at the time of St. eugendus, the second successor to Lupicinus, there was a common building for sleeping and for eating. Clothing and food were simple. From earliest times the monastery enriched the district with temporal benefits as well as spiritual. Plantations, gardens, and mills sprang up in the area through the work of the monks. Intellectual labor also was encouraged, and under St. Eugendus, Greek and Latin were taught and manuscripts were transcribed. Lupicinus also wielded social and political influence, not hesitating to have recourse to the civil authority of the region in order to help his neighbor.

St. Romanus died c. 463464 and was buried in the convent church at La Beaume. St. Lupicinus governed the monks until his death in 480. There are two biographies of these saints, one by St. gregory of tours in the Liber vitae patrum, and an anonymous Vita patrum Jurensium. This latter is from the early 6th century, and was always considered authentic until Quesnel found apparent inconsistencies in it. However, these have been explained by L. Duchesne in his La Vie des Pères du Jura, where he urged that the traditional value of the vita be recognized.

Feast: St. Romanus: Feb. 28; St. Lupicinus: March 21.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum Feb. 3:743754. Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum (Berlin 1826) 3:131153. l. duchesne, "La Vie des Pères de Jura," Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire 18 (1893) 316. g. a. a. hanotaux, Histoire de la nation française, 15 v. (Paris 192035) 6:58. h. leclercq, Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, ed. f. cabrol, h. leclercq, and h. i. marrou, 15 v. (Paris 190753) 8.1:430438. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, rev. ed. h. thurston and d. attwater, 4 v. (New York 1956) 1:438439. É. brouette, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 2, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 9:2425.

[g. e. conway]