Saint Paternus, Bishop

April 15

Today is the feast day of Saint Paternus.  Ora pro nobis.

Saint Paternus (called by the French Patier, Pair, and Foix) was born at Poitiers, of illustrious Christian parents, about the year 482. His father, Patranus, with the consent of his wife went to Ireland to end his days as a hermit in holy solitude. (1)

After some time, burning with a desire of attaining to the perfection of Christian virtue, he passed over to Wales, and in Cardiganshire founded a monastery called Llan-patern-vaur, or the church of the great Paternus. He made a visit to his father in Ireland: but being called back to his monastery of Ansion, he soon after retired with St. Scubilion, a monk of that house, and embraced an austere anchoretical life in the forest of Scicy, in the diocess of Coutances, near the sea, having first obtained leave of the bishop and of the lord of the place. (3)

An abbot of that region who knew of him recommended Paternus to the bishop of Coutances, who ordained him a deacon and then a priest in 512. He and Saint Scubilion then evangelized the western coasts and established several monasteries, of which he was the abbot general. Many miracles honored his apostolate among the pagan populations.

In his old age he was consecrated bishop of Avranches while his former companion, Saint Scubilion, had become abbot of a monastery founded by the two missionaries. When Saint Paternus fell ill he felt his end was near, and he sent to his dear friend to come and assist him in his last illness. But the same fate had befallen Scubilion, who for his part had sent a messenger to Paternus. The two hermit-missionaries, each of whom had become the spiritual father of many, departed this life on the same day, April 16, 565, the thirteenth year of the pontificate of Saint Paternus. They were afterwards buried on the same day in the church of the monastery of Scicy, a region they had evangelized together. (1,2)

Image: (4)

Research by REGINA Staff


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