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Bible Dictionaries

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Salvius, Bishop of Alby

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Salvius (5) ( Sauve ), St., bp. of Alby, an intimate friend of Gregory of Tours, who gives the story of his early life from his own lips. He had been an advocate, and had led an active and worldly life though unstained by the passions of youth. After his conversion he entered a monastery to embrace a new life of poverty, austerity, and worship. In time the monks made him abbat, but craving for still higher sanctity, he withdrew to a solitary cell, where, after a fever, he fell into a sort of trance, and was laid out for dead. While unconscious he was conducted by two angels to heaven, and shewn the glory of it, but not permitted to remain, as work still awaited him on earth. The account of this Dantesque vision, which Gregory calls God to witness he heard from the bishop's own lips, is interesting (Hist. Franc. vii. 1). The authenticity of this chapter has, however, been questioned (see Boll. Acta SS. Sept. iii. 575, 576). As bishop Salvius indignantly scouted the heretical and somewhat crude views on the Trinity which king Chilperic wished to force upon the church ( ib. v. 45). He was at the council of Braine in 580, and while bidding farewell to Gregory there, he pointed to the king's palace and asked him if he saw aught above it. Gregory could see nothing but the upper story just built at Chilperic's command. Then Salvius, drawing a deep sigh, said: "Video ego evaginatum irae divinae gladium super domum hanc dependentem," and after 20 days the two sons of the king were no more (v. 51). When Mummolus carried off some of the flock of Salvius as prisoners, he followed and ransomed them at his own cost; and when Alby was almost depopulated by a plague that ravaged S. France, he refused to desert the city (vii. 1). He died c . 584, being succeeded by Desideratus (vii. 22).


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Salvius, Bishop of Alby'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. 1911.

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Wednesday, September 18th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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