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E05946: In the anonymous Life of the Jura Fathers the author recounts how *Eugendus (ascetic in the Jura mountains, ob. 512/515, S02182) had a vision of the Apostles: *Peter (S00036), *Paul (S00008) and *Andrew (S00288), and how their relics came to the monastery in Condat; 460/496. Written in Latin at Condat in the Jura mountains (modern Saint-Claude in eastern Gaul), 512/525.

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posted on 2018-07-12, 00:00 authored by kwojtalik, dlambert
The Life of the Jura Fathers 152-156 (Life of Saint Eugendus the Abbot)


152. The author states that Eugendus' spirit was so pure that he was able to see and talk with with the Apostles Peter, Paul, and Andrew, and also with the apostolic bishop, Martin (for the latter incident, see $E05947).

153. Once, before Eugendus became abbot of Condat, he was resting under a tree next to the road to Geneva. In his sleep (per soporem) he saw three men approaching him. They prayed with him and exchanged the kiss of peace. Eugendus was surprised by the strangeness of their appearance and clothes, and asked who they were.

154. One of them declared that he was Peter, and that his two companions were Paul and Andrew. Eugendus prostrated himself, and asked how they came to this forested countryside, when 'we read' that after their martyrdom their bodies lay in the great cities of Rome and Patras (in magnis urbibus Romae ac Patras post sanctum martyrium legimus corpore contineri). They replied that they were in those places, but now came to dwell here too. Then Eugendus awoke.

155. After the vision Eugendus saw two monks approaching, who had left the monastery two years earlier. They were coming by the same road on which he had seen the Apostles. He asked them where they were coming from, and they said they had been 'to the City' (ad urbem, i.e. Rome), and were returning 'enriched with relics of the lord apostles Peter and Paul and Andrew' (dominorum namque apostolorum Petri et Pauli atque Andreae ditati reliquias).

156. Eugendus ran to the monastery and told the news to the abbot and the other monks:

Prosiliunt confestim obviam, et consalutatis fratribus deosculatisque reliquiarum uasculis, cum trepudio et exultatione atque psalmi sono exhibitis, inclusis quoque sub altari, patrocinantur nunc exorantibus indefessa uirtute, quorum laudes ac merita nequeunt localiter coherceri.

'The monks immediately rushed to meet them, and, once they had greeted the two brothers and fervently kissed the reliquaries, the relics were displayed with joyful celebration and rejoicing and singing of psalms. The relics were then placed under the altar where now they, whose praises and good works cannot be restricted to any one place, grant the protection of their unwearying power to those who pray.'

Text: Martine 1988, 402, 404 and 406. Translation: Vivian et al. 1999, 172-3. Summary: Katarzyna Wojtalik/David Lambert.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Paul, the Apostle : S00008 Peter the Apostle : S00036 Andrew, the Apostle : S00288 Eugendus, ascetic in the Jura mountains in Gaul, ob. AD 510 : S02182

Saint Name in Source

Paulus Petrus Andreas Eugendus

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Lives


  • Latin

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


Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle during lifetime Miracle after death Apparition, vision, dream, revelation Miracles experienced by the saint

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - abbots Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits

Cult Activities - Relics

Unspecified relic Transfer/presence of relics from distant countries Reliquary – institutionally owned Touching and kissing relics Transfer, translation and deposition of relics


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)


Note that the author concludes this passage with an opinion about the cult of relics. He claims that the miraculous power of relics cannot be restricted just to where the remains of a saint are buried. The relics brought from Rome were almost certainly contact relics made by touching the tombs of the Apostles.


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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