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

January 23

St. Ildefonsus, Archbishop

HE was a learned Benedictin abbot of a monastery called Agaliense, in a suburb of Toledo, promoted to the archbishopric of that city after the death of Eugenius, in December, 657, according to F. Flores; sat nine years and two months, and died on the 23rd of January, 667, according to the same learned author, in the eighteenth year of king Rescisvintho. His most celebrated work is a book on the Spotless Virginity of the Virgin Mary, against Helvidius, Jovinian, and a certain Jew: he breathes in it the most tender devotion to her, and confidence in her intercession with her Son. He had a singular devotion to St. Leocadia, patroness of Toledo. Certain sermons of St. Ildefonsus on the B. Virgin Mary, and some letters, are published by F. Flores. 1 Some of his letters, which were first given us by D’Achery, were reprinted by cardinal D’Aguirre. 2 In Spanish this saint is called Ildefonso, and by the common people Alanso, for Alphonsus, which is an abbreviation of Ildefonsus. See his short life by St. Julian, bishop of Toledo, twenty-three years after his death. In Mabillon, sæc. 2. Fleury, b. 39. n. 40. That by Cixila is not authentic. See especially the remarks of the learned F. Flores on these two lives, &c. in his Spana Sagrada, t. 5. tr. 5. c. 3. n. 31. p. 275. & app. 9. ib. p. 522. F. Flores reckons St. Ildefonsus the thirty-first bishop of Toledo, from St. Eugenius, the disciple of St. Dionysius of Paris, whom, with the writers of his country, he counts the first in the year 112.  1
Note 1. F. Flores. Spana Sagrada, T. 5. append. 7. p. 490. [back]
Note 2. Card. D’Aguirre, Conc. Hispan. T. 2. p. 534. [back]