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A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Saturninus, Bishop of Toulouse

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Saturninus (2) ( Sernin ), St., martyr, first bp. and patron of Toulouse. According to his Acta , published by Surius (Nov. 29) and by Ruinart after careful revision in his Acta Sincera (pp. 128–133), Saturninus came to Toulouse in the consulship of Decius and Gratius (a.d. 251), apparently from Rome (cf. Venant. Fort. Misc. ii. 12, Migne, Patr. Lat. lxxxviii. 101). Here his preaching so exasperated the people that they put him to a shocking death by binding him to a bull, which they infuriated by goads. There were two other traditions current in early times—one that Saturninus was sent into France by St. Clement at the end of the 1st cent., the other that his mission was from the apostles themselves. The former is in Gregory of Tours ( de Glor. Mart. i. 48), and the latter is as old as Venantius Fortunatus, if the Passio S. Dionysii is rightly ascribed to him (Migne, u.s. 579), and appears in many other ancient sources (see Ceillier, ii. 111 n.). Sidonius Apollinaris celebrated his martyrdom in Sapphic stanzas ( Ep. ix. 16). Venantius Fortunatus has some verses on the same event, the wonder-working virtues of his tomb ( Misc. ii. 11, Migne, u.s. 99), and on the beautiful church built towards the close of 6th cent. by Launibodes on the spot where he was bound to the bull and which came to be known as du Taur or du Taureau (ii. 12, col. 100).


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

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Sunday, September 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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