Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Epiphanius, Bishop of Pavia

Article

[Bishop from 467 to 497.] The reputation of Epiphanius for sanctity and miracles, gave him the highest credit with all the last weak Roman emperors, and with the kings Odoacer and Theodoric, though all of opposite interests. By his admirable eloquence and charity he often disarmed the most savage barbarians, saved the lives and obtained the liberty of whole armies of captives, the abolition of several oppressive laws, and the mitigation of heavy public imposts and taxes. By his profuse charities he preserved an incredible number of distressed persons from perishing, and by his zeal he stemmed the torrent of iniquity in times of universal disorder and calamity. He performed an embassy to the emperor Anthemius, and another to king Euric at Tolouse; both to avert the dangers of war. He rebuilt Pavia, which had been destroyed by Odoacer, and mitigated the fury of Theodoric in the heat of his victories. He undertook a journey into Burgundy, to redeem captives, detained by the kings Gondebald and Godegisile, and died of a cold and fever at Pavia, in the fifty-eighth year of his age. His body was translated to Hildesheim in Lower Saxony, in 963. Brower thinks it lies in a silver coffin near the high altar. His name is inserted in the Roman Martyrology.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Epiphanius, Bishop of Pavia”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. Saints.SQPN.com. 20 January 2013. Web. 26 July 2014. <>