« Elpidius (8), bp. of Laodicea Emilianus (8), solitary Encratites »

Emilianus (8), solitary

Emilianus (8) (Aemilianus, San Millan), solitary; claimed by the Spanish Benedictines as joint patron of Spain with St. James (Sandoval, Fundaciones de San Benito en España, Madrid, 1601). The only original source of information about him is his Life by St. Braulio bp. of Saragossa, written about 50 years after his death, on the testimony of four of his disciples. St. Braulio gives no dates and no names of parents, but the common tradition is that St. Emilianus was born c. 473, and died c. 572. His birthplace and the site of his oratory have caused much controversy, Castile claiming him as born at Berceo, close to the existing monastery of San Millan, while Aragon urges Verdeyo, near Calatayud.

He began life as a shepherd, and while following his flock over the mountains had the dream which caused his conversion. He betook himself to St. Felix, a neighbouring hermit, for instruction in Catholic belief and practice. He soon left Verdejo for the mountains, wandering N.W. into the remotest parts between Burgos and Logrono. For 40 years he lived a hermit's life there, mostly on or near the peak of La Cogolla (according to the tradition of the monastery; there is no mention of the Cogolla of St. Braulio's life), whence the after-name of the monastery which commemorated him—San Millan de la Cogolla. Didymus, bp. of Tarrazona (Turiasso), much against the saint's will; ordained him presbyter, and gave him the cure of Vergegium. Here his entire unworldliness drew upon him the hatred of his brother clergy. He was accused before Didymus of wasting the goods of the church, and deprived of his cure. Thus released from an unwelcome office, Emilianus passed the rest of his life at an oratory near Vergegium. During this second retirement, although his personal asceticism increased rather than diminished, he allowed himself to be surrounded by a small circle of disciples, and became widely famed for charity and tenderness towards the poor. St. Braulio nowhere speaks of him as monachus, but only as presbyter. Tamayo de Salazar, Martyr. Hisp. vi. 109; Esp. Sagrada, l. 2; Mabillon, saec. i.; Yepes, Chron. Benedictin. i. ann. 572; Sanchez, Poesias Cast. ant. al Siglo XV. vol. ii.

[M.A.W.]

« Elpidius (8), bp. of Laodicea Emilianus (8), solitary Encratites »
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