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E05900: In the anonymous Life of the Jura Fathers, the author recounts how *Romanus and Lupicinus (brothers and founders of the Jura monasteries, mid 5th c., S00003) drove out demons and healed insane and paralysed people who were brought to them at Condat (eastern Gaul); c. 430/444. Written in Latin at Condat in the Jura mountains (modern Saint-Claude in eastern Gaul), 512/525.

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posted on 2018-07-01, 00:00 authored by dlambert
The Life of the Jura Fathers 14-15 (Life of Saint Romanus the Abbot)

After the foundation of community at Condat, the renown of Romanus and Lupicinus spread widely and many people came to see how they lived.

Nonnulli institutionis huius uisuri miracula atque exempli dona conuenientia domi reportaturi conueniunt. Alii etiam uexatos daemoniis ceterisque diaboli laruis, oratione sanctorum cum propria fide curandos, et mente inpotes et corpore nexos, adducunt. Quorum plurimi, incolumitate recepta, ad propria sunt regressi, ast alii in tantum conpuncti ieiuni ac uigiles in monasterio permanserunt, ut mira uicissitudine postmodum diabolum cum satellitibus ac ministris suis dicto citius ab arreptitiis effugarent, atque haec uidentes dicerent: «Vere haec est mutatio dexterae Excelsi ».

'Some came there to see the miracles of this institution and to take home with them exemplary and harmonious gifts. Others brought people tormented by demons and by other spirits of the Devil, along with the insane and paralyzed, so that through the prayer of the saints [Romanus and Lupicinus] and their own faith these might be healed. Most of the sick returned home after being restored to health, but others remained at the monastery observing fasts and vigils with so much compunction of spirit that, by a remarkable turn of the events, they now – in less time than it takes to say these words – drove out the Devil, along with his subordinates and followers, from those who were possessed. Those who witnessed this said, "Truly this change is owing to the right hand of the Most High". [Ps. 76:11]'

Text: Martine 1968, 256. Translation: Vivian et al. 1999, 107-108.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Romanus and Lupicinus, brothers and founders of the Jura monasteries, mid 5th c. : S00003

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Lives



Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Gaul and Frankish kingdoms

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Condat Tours Tours Toronica urbs Prisciniacensim vicus Pressigny Turonorum civitas Ceratensis vicus Céré

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Visiting/veneration of living saint

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle during lifetime Exorcism Healing diseases and disabilities

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits Other lay individuals/ people


The Life of the Jura Fathers (Vita patrum Iurensium) consists of three vitae – of Romanus (ob. 455/460; PCBE 4, 'Romanus 3'), Lupicinus (ob. 472/475; PCBE 4, 'Lupicinus 4'), and Eugendus (ob. 512/515; PCBE 4, 'Eugendus'). Romanus and his brother Lupicinus were the founders of the ascetic communities which grew up in the 5th century in remote rural areas in the Jura mountains of eastern Gaul; Eugendus was their eventual successor in the late 5th century. Romanus' community was located at Condat (Condadisco), modern Saint-Claude, where he seems to have settled sometime in the 430s (to judge from the not always clear chronology of his Life); within a few years he was joined by his younger brother Lupicinus. As the size of the community grew, Lupicinus eventually established his own settlement nearby at Lauconnus (modern Saint-Lupicin). Romanus also founded a female monastic community, headed by his sister (whose name is unknown), at Balma (La Balme, modern Saint-Romain-des-Roches), a few miles from Condat. The Life of the Jura Fathers was written after the death of Eugendus, which occurred in the period 512/515 (the date is established by Avitus of Vienne, Letter 19), probably soon after. François Massai pointed out that in spite of the author's demonstrative reverence for Eugendus, the Life attributes no posthumous miracles to him (Massai 1971, 57), suggesting that it was composed only a short time after his death. More debatably, Massai argued (Massai 1971, 50, 56) that references in the text to the shrine of the Theban Legion at Saint-Maurice-d'Agaune – notably the preface (E05898) and § 44 (E07851) – seem to depict it before its refoundation by the Burgundian prince Sigismund in 515. While not dating the work quite so early, Martine 1968, 56, argued that it influenced the Life of the Abbots of Agaune (E06267), which he dated to the mid 520s. The Life of the Jura Fathers is anonymous, but the author discloses various details about his life: he seems to have been a native of the Jura region, and he himself was a member of the community at Condat. He knew Eugendus personally, and regularly emphasises that he was a witness of events in Eugendus' time and was told about many earlier events by Eugendus himself. His knowledge of Romanus and Lupicinus came from the traditions of the community and the reminiscences of Eugendus and other older monks (by the time the Life of the Jura Fathers was written, thirty to forty years had passed since the death of Lupicinus, and fifty to sixty since the death of Romanus). On the author, and the information that can be established about him, see Martine 1968, 45-53; Vivian et al. 1999, 48-52. The author was well-read in Latin ascetic literature: he was certainly familiar with the works of Sulpicius Severus on Martin of Tours, which he sometimes quotes directly. Allusions and references in his work suggest that he also knew the Life of Antony (probably the Latin version by Evagrius, E00930), Jerome's ascetic Lives, Rufinus' Latin version of Eusebius' Church History, and works by Basil of Caesarea (in translation) and John Cassian. See Vivian et al. 1999, 50-51. For full discussion of the text, author, and date, see primarily the introduction to Martine 1968; see also Vivian et al. 1999, 47-61. For brief accounts of the sites associated with Romanus, Lupicinus and Eugendus, see Vieillard-Troiekouroff 1976, 249-250, 262-264, 273-274. The lives of Romanus and Lupicinus are also recounted by Gregory of Tours in his Life of the Fathers 1 (see E00003, E00004). (David Lambert)


These events are placed in the Life before the ordination of Romanus by Hilary of Arles, seemingly in 444, described in the following chapters (Life of the Jura Fathers 18-19); for the date see Vivian et al. 1999, 109-110; Martine 1968, 259.


Edition: Martine, F., Vie des pères du Jura (Sources Chrétiennes 142; Paris: Les Éditions du Cerf, 1968). English translation: Vivian, T., Vivian, K., and Russell, J.B. The Life of the Jura Fathers (Cistercian Studies Series 178; Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications, 1999). Further reading: Massai, F., "‘La «Vita patrum iurensium» et les débuts du monachisme à Saint-Maurice d’Agaune," in: J. Autenrieth and F. Brunhölzl (eds.), Festschrift Bernard Bischoff zu seinem 65. Geburtstag (Stuttgart, 1971), 43-69. Vieillard-Troiekouroff, M., Les monuments religieux de la Gaule d'après les œuvres de Grégoire de Tours (Paris, 1976).

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