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Marius Aventicus, Saint

Bishop of Avenches (Switzerland) and chronicler, b. about 530; d. at Lausanne, December 31, 594

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* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.


Marius Aventicus (or AVENTICENSIS), Saint, Bishop of Avenches (Switzerland) and chronicler, b. about 530 in the present Diocese of Autun; d. at Lausanne, December 31, 594. Of the events of his life little is known. From an inscription on his tomb in the church of St. Thyrsius in Lausanne (published in the "Monuments Germ. Scriptores", XXIV, 795), we learn that he came of a distinguished, rich and probably Roman family, and at an early age embraced the ecclesiastical state. In 574 he was made Bishop of Avenches, took part in the Council of Macon in 585, and shortly afterwards transferred his episcopal see from Avenches, which was rapidly declining, to Lausanne. He is extolled as an ideal bishop; as a skilled goldsmith who made the sacred vessels with his own lands; as a protector and benefactor of the poor; as a man of prayer, and as a scholar full of enthusiasm for serious intellectual studies. In 587 he consecrated St. Mary's church at Payerne, which had been built at his expense and through his efforts. After his death he was venerated in the Diocese of Lausanne as a saint, and his feast was celebrated on 9 or February 12. The church of St. Thyrsius received at an early date the name of St. Marius. A chronicle of his is still preserved, and purports to be a continuation of the chronicle of Prosper Tiro, or rather of the "Chronicon Imperiale". It extends from 455 to 581, and, although consisting only of dry, annalistic notes, it is valuable for Burgundian and Franconian history, especially for the second half of the sixth century. This explains the fact that, not-withstanding its brevity, it has been frequently published—first by Chifflet in Andre Duchesne's "Historiae Francorum Scriptores", I (1636), 210-214; again by Migne in P.L., LXXII, 793-802, and finally by Mommsen in "Mon. Germ., Auctores antiqui", XI (1893), 232-9.

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