« Malchus, a hermit in Syria Mamertus, Saint, bp. of Vienne Mamertus, Claudianus Ecdicius »

Mamertus, Saint, bp. of Vienne

Mamertus (1), St., 18th bp. of Vienne, the elder brother of Claudian the poet, whom he ordained priest, and who is said to have assisted him in his episcopal labours. Our first authentic information about him is in 463. The see of Die had been included by pope Leo in the province of Arles, but Mamertus had consecrated a bishop of it. Gundeuchus or Gundioc, king of the Burgundians, complained to pope Hilary, who took up the matter warmly, addressing a letter, Feb. 24, 464, to various prelates, solemnly warning Mamertus. Mamertus was still alive at the death of his brother in 473 or 474 (Sid. Apoll. Ep. iv. 11, in Patr. Lat. lviii. 515), but how long after is unknown.

Though not the inventor of Rogations or Litanies, Mamertus was undoubtedly the founder of the Rogation Days. Litanies of the kind were, on the evidence of Basil, in use in the East and, on that of Sidonius, in the West, but Mamertus first systematized them on the three days preceding Ascension Day. The story of their institution has been given by his contemporary Sidonius, by Avitus, Gregory of Tours, and others. Vienne, in some year before 474, had been terrified by portents and calamities. To atone for the sins of which these calamities were thought to be the penalties, Mamertus, with the joyful assent of the citizens, ordained a three days' fast, with processions and an ordered service of prayer and song, which, for greater labour, was to take place outside the city. Its successful issue ensured its permanence, and from Vienne it spread over France and the West. Already in 470 or 474 Sidonius had established these services at Clermont, and looked to them as his chief hope in the threatened invasion of the Goths. In 511 the first council of Orleans recognized them and directed their continuance (Mansi, viii. 355). For accounts of this institution see Ceillier, x. 346; Bingham, Antiquities, iv. 281 sqq. (1855); Smith, D. C. A. art. "Rogation Days"; Gall. Christ. xvi. 15.

[S.A.B.]

« Malchus, a hermit in Syria Mamertus, Saint, bp. of Vienne Mamertus, Claudianus Ecdicius »





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