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A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography


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Valerius ( 6 ), bp. of Hippo Regius, predecessor of Augustine, whom he had admitted to the priesthood at the earnest desire of the people, against Augustine's wish, expressed in a letter to Valerius, but in answer, as Valerius thought, to his own prayers (Aug. Ep. 21; Possidius, Vit. Aug. 4, 5). Contrary to African, but in accordance with Eastern, usage, Valerius caused Augustine to preach in his presence when he himself became unable to do so. When Valerius felt his own infirmities increase, he obtained the consent of the other bishops, but at first not that of Megalius of Calama, primate of Numidia, to ordain Augustine as coadjutor to himself, contrary to the usual practice of the church and to the express wish of Augustine, who refused on this ground to accept the office, though, as he said afterwards, he was not then aware of the canon of the council of Nicaea, forbidding two bishops in the same place. (Conc. Nic. Song of Solomon 8 , Bruns, Conc. p. 16; Aug. c. Petil. iii. 16, § 19, c. Cresc. iv. 64, § 79; Brevic. Coll. iii. 7; § 9). His objection was overruled by the earnest desire of all concerned, and by similar instances in Africa and elsewhere (Aug. Epp. 31, 4; 213, 4). Valerius, better acquainted with Greek than with Latin, was rejoiced to have one so able as Augustine to teach and preach in the Latin language. He is spoken of in the highest terms by Augustine, Possidius, and Paulinus of Nola (Aug. Epp. 31, 4; 32; Possid. Vit. Aug. 5; Paulinus, Ephesians 5 ). After Augustine's appointment, Valerius gave him a piece of land for his monastery (Aug. Serm. 355, 1, 2). He died a.d. 396 (Aug. Ep. 33, 4). Proculeianus was bp. of the Donatists at Hippo during his lifetime (Aug. Ep. 33).


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

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