Home  »  Volume VII: July  »  St. Gal, Bishop

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

July 1

St. Gal, Bishop

[Called the First, Bishop of Clermont in Auvergne.]  HE was born about the year 489. His father George was of the first houses of that province, and his mother Leocadia was descended from the family of Vettius Apagatus, the celebrated Roman, who suffered at Lyons for the faith of Christ. They both took special care of the education of their son; and when he arrived at a proper age proposed to have him married to the daughter of a respectable senator. The saint, who had taken a resolution to consecrate himself to God, withdrew privately from his father’s house to the monastery of Cournon, near the city of Auvergne, and earnestly prayed to be admitted there amongst the monks; and having soon after obtained the consent of his parents, he with joy renounced all worldly vanities to embrace religious poverty. Here his eminent virtues distinguished him in a particular manner, and recommended him to Quintianus, bishop of Auvergne, who promoted him to holy orders.  1
  The bishop dying in 527, St. Gal was appointed to succeed him; and in this new character his humility, charity, and zeal were conspicuous; but, above all, his patience in bearing injuries. Being once struck on the head by a brutal man, he discovered not the least emotion of anger or resentment, and by this meekness disarmed the savage of his rage. At another time Evodius, who from a senator became a priest, having so far forgot himself as to treat him in the most insulting manner, the saint without making the least reply, arose meekly from his seat and went to visit the churches of the city. Evodius was so touched by this conduct, that he cast himself at the saint’s feet in the middle of the street and asked his pardon. From this time they both lived on terms of the most cordial friendship. St. Gal was favoured with the gift of miracles, and died about the year 553. He is mentioned this day in the Roman Martyrology. See St. Greg. of Tours, his nephew, Vit. Patr. c. 6; Hist. Franc. l. 4, c. 5; also the remarks of Mabillon, sec. 1; Bened. Gall. Christ, Nov. t. 2, p. 237, and Sellier the Bollandist, t. 1; Jul. p. 103.  2
  Another St. Gal, called the Second, is honoured at Clermont on the 1st of November. He was bishop of that see in 650. See Gall. Christ. Nova, t. 2, p. 245.  3