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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume I: January. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

January 21

St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Pavia

[Bishop from 467 to 497.]  THE REPUTATION of Epiphanius for sanctity and miracles, gave him the highest credit with all the last weak Roman emperors, and with the kings Odoacer and Theodoric, though all of opposite interests. By his admirable eloquence and charity he often disarmed the most savage barbarians, saved the lives and obtained the liberty of whole armies of captives, the abolition of several oppressive laws, and the mitigation of heavy public imposts and taxes. By his profuse charities he preserved an incredible number of distressed persons from perishing, and by his zeal he stemmed the torrent of iniquity in times of universal disorder and calamity. He performed an embassy to the emperor Anthemius, and another to king Euric at Tolouse; both to avert the dangers of war. He rebuilt Pavia, which had been destroyed by Odoacer, and mitigated the fury of Theodoric in the heat of his victories. He undertook a journey into Burgundy, to redeem captives, detained by the kings Gondebald and Godegisile, and died of a cold and fever at Pavia, in the fifty-eighth year of his age. His body was translated to Hildesheim in Lower Saxony, in 963. Brower thinks it lies in a silver coffin near the high altar. His name is inserted in the Roman Martyrology. See his panegyric in verse, by Ennodius, his successor, the masterpiece of that author, published by Bollandus and F. Sirmond. Consult also Marroni, of the Schola Pia, Comment. de Eclesia et Episcopis Papiensibus. Romæ. An. 1758. 1  1
Note 1. B. MACELAIN, A. His name in Irish signifies the son of Chilian. Passing into Belgic Gaul, in order to lead there an anchoretical life, he was appointed abbot of St. Michael’s, on the borders of Hainault, and of Vasour, or Vasencour, on the Meuse, in the diocess of Namur; monasteries, which were just founded. He appointed St. Cadroe, who had accompanied him from Ireland, provost of the latter in 946, and died in 978. Ferrarius, Saussay, and Wilson, falsely place this monastery of St. Michael’s at Virdun, mistaking the epithet Vir Dni, which is given him in the chronicle of Flodoard, for the name of that town. Though he is styled saint in the catalogue of the abbots of Vasour, and by several martyrologists on this day, he never was honoured in any public office even in either of his monasteries, as Bollandus observes; who makes the same remark of his two companions, B. Forannand and B. Cadroe. This latter was called from Vasour, and made abbot of St. Clement’s, at Metz, where he died in 975. See Bolland. T. 2. p. 386. Chatelain, p. 371. Gallia Christ. Nova, T. 3. p. 570.
  B. FORANNAND, B. C. This saint is styled in ancient chronicles, Archbishop of Domnachmor, in Ireland. Domnach signifying church, and mor, the greater, says Mabillon: by which epithet many understand Armagh. Resigning his see, he travelled into Belgic Gaul, with twelve companions, among whom were B. Macelain, and B. Cadroe. After leading for some time an eremitical life, he was commanded by Pope Benedict VII. to take upon himself the charge of the government of Vasour, in which employment he died on the last day of April, in 982. See Gallia Christ. Nova, T. 3. p. 571. [back]