Vedast of Arras, St.

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Bishop; b. probably Périgord in southwestern France; d. ca. 540. Information on Vedast (Eng., Foster, Gaston; Fr., Vaast) derives from two vitae, one ascribed (definitively, according to Krusch) to jonas of bobbio, the other written by alcuin (ca. 800). According to the vitae, Vedast, after living for some time as a recluse, was ordained for the Diocese of Toul. It was he who prepared clovis for Baptism. Vedast then labored for a number of years at Reims under (St.) remigius, by whom he was consecrated bishop of Arras (ca. 500). To Arras the neighboring Cambrai was later added. In Arras Christianity was then virtually nonexistent. After 40 years of zealous episcopal effort, Vedast at his death left Arras a flourishing Christian community. The abbey of saint-vaast was built to house his relics.

Feast: Feb. 6; July 15 (Arras); Oct. 1.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum February 1:782815. Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum (Berlin 1826) 3:399427. Patrologia Latina, ed. j. p. migne, 217v. (Paris 187890) 101:663682. l. van der essen, Étude critique et littéraire sur les Vitae des saints mérovingiens de l'ancienne Belgique (Louvain 1907) 211219. e. guilbert, S. Vaast: Fondateur de l'église d'Arras (Arras 1928). j. l. baudot and l. chaussin, Vies des saints et des bienheureux selon l'ordre du calendrier avec l'historique des fêtes, ed. by the Benedictines of Paris, 12 v. (Paris 193556); v. 13, suppl. and table générale (1959) 2:135138. k. hofmann, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 195765) 10:515. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, rev. ed. h. thurston and d. attwater, 4 v. (New York 1956) 1:262263.

[g. m. cook]