Vigilius of Auxerre, St.

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Bishop; d. 684 or 689. He was born of a noble family noted for its sanctity. As bishop, Vigilius built a monastery on the outskirts of Auxerre dedicated to the Mother of God. He endowed it richly. In the editions of the document of its foundation, mabillon states (Annales OSB, appendix 1:694) that the monastery was later given to canons regular of st. augustine and ultimately to the premonstratensians. Beyond these several facts not much is certain. Vigilius is credited with establishing a hospital for the poor near the monastery. His death strikingly resembles that of leodegar of autun; like Leodegar, Vigilius was murdered in a forest (Cotia silva, or Coatia silva, near Compiègne?) by Warato, (Waratto, Warado), successor as mayor of the palace to Ebroin, Leodegar's assassin. An account by one Saussauis blames Ebroin for both murders. Mirabilia attended Vigilius's death: his body was returned to Auxerre, and as it passed a prison in Sens, chains fell from all the prisoners and they were freed. The chains were then attached to Vigilius's coffin for all to see. His episcopate had lasted for 25 years and five months. His remains, kept in a silver reliquary, were scattered by the Calvinists (1567) but were recovered and enshrined anew in 1589.

Feast: March 11.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum (Antwerp 1643) March 2:7172. Gallia Christiana, v. 113 (Paris 171585), v. 1416 (Paris 185665) 12:269. l. duchesne, Fastes épiscopaux de l'ancienne Gaule, 3 v. (2d ed. Paris 190715) 2:427446. g. allemang, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. m. buchberger, 10v. (Freiburg 193038) 10:608. a. mercati and a. pelzer, Dizionario ecclesiastico, 3 v. (Turin 195458) 3:1321.

[c. m. aherne]