Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Projectus, Bishop of Clermont, Martyr

[Saint Praejectus of Clermont]Article

[Called at Lyons Saint Priest, at Sens Saint Prest, in Saintonge Saint Preils, at Paris and in Picardy Saint Prix.] The episcopal see of Auvergne, which was founded by Saint Austremonius, in the middle of the third century, has been honoured with many holy bishops, of whom twenty-six are ranked among the saints. Of these the most eminent are Saint Alidius, called in French Allyre, the fourth bishop, in 380, Saint Sidonius Apollinaris in 482, Saint Gallus in 656, Saint Prix in 674, and Saint Bont in 710. About the year 1160, the title of bishops of Auvergne was changed into that of Clermont, from the city of this name. Saint Prix was a native of Auvergne, and trained up in the service of the church, under the care of Saint Genesius, first archdeacon, afterwards bishop of Auvergne, and was well skilled in plain song, (which was esteemed in that age the first part of the science of a clergyman,) and in holy scriptures and church history. The parish of Issoire, and afterwards the nunnery of Candedin (now probably Chantoen, a convent of bare-footed Carmelites) were the chief theatres of his zeal, till about the year 666 he was called by the voice of the people, seconded by Childeric II. king of Austrasia, to the episcopal dignity, upon the death of Felix, bishop of Auvergne. Partly by his own ample patrimony, and partly by the great liberalities of Genesius, the holy count of Auvergne, he was enabled to found several monasteries, churches, and hospitals; so that all distressed persons in his extensive diocess were provided for, and a spirit of fervour in the exercises of religion and all Christian virtues reigned in all parts. This was the fruit of the unwearied and undaunted zeal, assiduous sermons and exhortations, and the admirable example and sanctity of the holy prelate; whose learning, eloquence, and piety, are exceedingly extolled by the two historians of his life. The saint, on his road to the court of King Childeric, whither he was going on the affairs of his diocess, restored to health Saint Damarin, or Amarin, a holy abbot of a monastery in the mountains of Voge, who was afterwards martyred with him. This king caused Hector, the patrician of Marseilles, whom the saint had severely rebuked for having ravished a young lady of Auvergne, a rich heiress, and having unjustly usurped considerable estates belonging to his church, to be put to death for this rape and other crimes. One Agritius, imputing his death to the complaints carried to the king by Saint Prix, in revenge stirred up many persons against the holy prelate, and with twenty armed men met the bishop as he returned from court, at Volvic, two leagues from Clermont, and first slew the abbot Saint Damarin, whom the ruffians mistook for the bishop. Saint Prix, perceiving their design, courageously presented himself to them, and was stabbed in the body by a Saxon named Radbert. The saint, receiving this wound said: “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge, for they know not what they do.” Another of the assassins clove his head with a back-sword, and scattered his brains. This happened in 674 on the 25th of January. The veneration which the Gallican churches paid to the memory of this martyr, began from the time of his death. His name was added to the calendar in the copies of the Sacramentary of Saint Gregory, which were transcribed in France, and churches were erected under his invocation in almost every province in that kingdom. The principal part of his relics remain in the abbey of Flavigny, whither they were carried about the year 760. Some portions are kept in the abbey of Saint Prix at Saint Quintin’s, of the congregation of Cluni; another in the priory of Saint Prix near Bethune, and in certain other places. See the two lives of Saint Prix, the first written by one who was acquainted with him, the other by one of the same age, both extant in Bollandus.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Projectus, Bishop of Clermont, Martyr”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. Saints.SQPN.com. 25 January 2013. Web. 2 October 2014. <>