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E07557: Constantius of Lyon, in his Life of *Germanus (bishop of Auxerre, ob. c. 448, S00455), written in Latin at Lyon (central Gaul) between c. 460 and c. 480, describes how Germanus carried out numerous but unspecified miraculous healings at Lyon, during a journey from Auxerre to Arles, probably in the mid 430s.

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posted on 2019-05-10, 00:00 authored by dlambert
Constantius of Lyon, Life of Germanus of Auxerre 23

For a full account of Constantius' Life of Germanus, see $E05841.

This passage follows the miracle described in E06020.

Itaque Arelatum petens ad Lugdunensem urbem, Arari famulente, deuectus est ubi, certantibus populi studiis, indiscreta aetas et sexus uno occurrit officio. Omnes benedictionem flagitant, tactum requirunt et, quod superest multitudinis releuat uel uidisse. Diuersae infirmitates passim benedictione sanantur, praedicationibus ciuitas recreatur et licet festinus abscesserit, sitientem populum doctrinae fontibus inrigauit.

'On this journey to Arles the Bishop was carried down to Lyons on the River Saône. On his arrival the population, in eager excitement, came out together to meet him, regardless of age and sex. All begged his blessing and tried to touch him and those who could not touch him were proud even to have seen him. Maladies of all kinds were cured on all sides by his blessing and the city drew life from his preaching, for although he could only make a short stay he did not fail to refresh a thirsty people from the springs of truth.'

Constantius goes on to describe Germanus' arrival in Arles, followed by his healing of the wife of the Praetorian Prefect Auxiliaris (E06045).

Text: Borius 1965. Translation: Hoare 1954.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Germanus, bishop of Auxerre, ob. c. 448 : S00455

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)

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

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle during lifetime Healing diseases and disabilities

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Crowds


Germanus of Auxerre (PCBE 4, 'Germanus 1', pp. 878-883) was the most important and revered episcopal saint of 5th century Gaul. The Life of Germanus was written at an uncertain date, some years after Germanus' death, which is traditionally dated to 448 (but some scholars would place up to twelve years earlier). The Life was probably written at some point between about 465 and 480. The author was Constantius (PCBE 4, 'Constantius 3', pp. 521-522), a literary figure, possibly a cleric, attested as active in Lyon in the 460s and 470s. For full discussion of the issues relating to the authorship and date of the Life of Germanus, see E05841.


Germanus' visit to Lyon takes place when he is travelling from Auxerre to Arles, to request a tax remission for Auxerre (his mission is described in § 19). Constantius' narrative implies that Germanus' journey took place immediately after he returned from his first mission to Britain (in 429), but it was almost certainly several years later: the journey can be dated reasonably closely by Constantius' statement (§ 24) that the Praetorian Prefect at the time was Auxiliaris, who is known to have been in office during the years 435-437 (see PLRE II, 'Auxiliaris 1').


Editions: Borius, R., Constance de Lyon, Vie de saint Germain d'Auxerre (Sources chrétiennes 112; Paris, 1965), with French translation. Levison, W., Vita Germani episcopi Autissiodorensis auctore Constantio, in: Passiones vitaeque sanctorum aevi Merovingici V (Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum 7; Hannover and Leipzig, 1919), 246-283. English translation: Hoare, F.R., The Western Fathers (London, 1954), 283-320. Reprinted in T.F.X. Noble and T. Head (eds.), Soldiers of Christ: Saints and Saints' Lives from Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (University Park PA, 1995), 75-106.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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