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

January 1

St. Eugendus, in French Oyend, Abbot

AFTER the death of the two brothers, St. Romanus and St. Lupicinus, the holy founders of the abbey of Condate, under whose discipline he had been educated from seven years of age; he was first coadjutor to Minausius, their immediate successor, and soon after, upon his demise, abbot of that famous monastery. His life was most austere, his clothes being sack-cloth, and the same in summer as in winter. He took only one small refection in the day, which was usually after sun-set. He inured himself to cold and all mortifications; and was so dead to himself, as to seem incapable of betraying the least emotion of anger. His countenance was always cheerful, yet he never laughed. By meekness he overcame all injuries, was well skilled in Greek and Latin, and in the holy Scriptures, and a great promoter of the sacred studies in his monastery. No importunities could prevail upon him to consent to be ordained priest. In the lives of the first abbots of Condate, of which a MS. copy is preserved in the Jesuits’ library in the college of Clermont, at Paris, enriched with MS. notes by F. Chifflet, it is mentioned that the monastery, which was built by St. Romanus, of timber, being consumed by fire, St. Eugendus rebuilt it of stone; and also near the oratory, which St. Romanus had built, erected a handsome church in honour of SS. Peter, Paul, and Andrew, enriched with precious relics. His prayer was almost continual, and his devotion so tender, that the hearing of a pious word was sufficient visibly to inflame his soul, and to throw him sometimes into raptures even in public, and at table. His ardent sighs to be united with his God, were most vehement during his last illness. Having called the priest among his brethren to whom he had enjoined the office of anointing the sick, he caused him to anoint his breast according to the custom, says the author of his life, and he breathed forth his happy soul five days after, about the year 510, and of his age sixty-one. 1 The great abbey of Condate, in Franche-comté, seven leagues from Geneva, on Mount Jura, or Mont-jou, received from this saint the name of St. Oyend; till in the thirteenth century it exchanged it for that of St. Claude; who having resigned the bishopric of Besanzon, which see he had governed seven years in great sanctity, lived fifty-five years abbot of this house, a perfect copy of the virtues of St. Oyend, and died in 581. He is honoured on the 6th of June. His body remains entire to this day; and his shrine is the most celebrated place of resort for pilgrims in all France. 2 See the life of St. Oyend, by a disciple, in Bollandus and Mabillon. Add the remarks of Rivet. Hist. Liter. T. 3. p. 60.  1
Note 1. The history of the first Abbots of Condate, compiled, according to F. Chifflet, in 1252, mentions a translation of the relics of St. Eugendus, when they were enshrined in the same church of St. Peter, which had been made with great solemnity, at which this author had assisted, and of which he testifies that he had already wrote the history here quoted. F. Chifflet regrets the loss of this piece, and adds, that the girdle of St. Eugendus, made of white leather, two fingers broad, has been the instrument of miraculous cures, and that in 1601 Petronilla Birod, a Calvinist woman in that neighbourhood, was converted to the Catholic faith, with her husband and whole family, having been suddenly freed from imminent danger of death and child-bearing, and safely delivered by the application of this relic. [back]
Note 2. The rich abbey of St. Claude gave rise to a considerable town built about it, which was made an episcopal see by Pope Benedict the XIVth, in 1743; who, secularizing the monastery, converted it into a cathedral. The canons, to gain admittance, must give proof of their nobility for sixteen degrees, eight paternal and as many maternal. St. Romanus was buried at Beaume, St. Lupicinus at Leuconne, and St. Oyend at Condate; whence this last place for several ages bore his name. [back]