St. Avitus of Vienne
February 5, Saint

Source: The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Saints by Alban Butler

Roman Martyrology:  At Vienne, Avitus, bishop and confessor, whose faith, labors and admirable learning protected France against the ravages of the Arian heresy.


Born on c.451 in Auvergne, Vienne, Gaul (in modern France). Son of Saint Isychius. Brother of Saint Apollinaris of Valence. Bishop of Vienne, France, succeeding his father. Fought Arianism, ransomed captives, and supported papal authority as the mainstay of religious unity. Brought King Saint Sigismund of Burgundy, and was well thought of personally not only by the Christians in his diocese but also the pagan Franks and Arian Burgundians. Presided over the Council of Epaon in 517.

 He wrote a long, elegant narrative poem describing original sin, expulsion from paradise, the Flood, and crossing of the Red Sea; Milton made use of it when writing Paradise Lost.

He died on c.525 of natural causes and his relics are at Vienne, France.


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