Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Severinus, Abbot of Agaunum

Article

A.D. 507.

Saint Severinus, of a noble family in Burgundy, was educated in the Catholic faith, at a time when the Arian heresy reigned in that country. He forsook the world in his youth, and dedicated himself to God in the monastery of Agaunum, which then only consisted of scattered cells, till the Catholic king, Sigismund, son and successor to the Arian Gondebald, who then reigned in Burgundy, built there the great abbey of Saint Maurice. Saint Severinus was the holy abbot of that place, and had governed his community many years in the exercises of penance and charity, when, in 504, Clovis, the first Christian king of France, lying ill of a fever, which his physicians had for two years ineffectually endeavoured to remove, sent his chamberlain to conduct him to court; for he had heard how the sick from all parts recovered their health by his prayers. Saint Severinus took leave of his monks, telling them he should never see them more in this world. On his journey he healed Eulalius, bishop of Nevers, who had been for some time deaf and dumb; also a leper at the gates of Paris; and coming to the palace, he immediately restored the king to perfect health, by putting on him his own cloak. The king in gratitude distributed large alms to the poor, and released all his prisoners. Saint Severinus returning towards Agaunum, stopped at Chateau-Landon, in Gatinois, where two priests served God in a solitary chapel, among whom he was admitted, at his request, as a stranger, and was soon greatly admired by them for his sanctity. He foresaw his death, which happened shortly after, in 507. The place is now an abbey of reformed canons regular of Saint Austin. The Hugonots scattered the greater part of his relics, when they plundered this church. He is mentioned in the Roman Martyrology, and a large parish in Paris takes its name from this saint, not from the hermit who was Saint Cloud’s master.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Severinus, Abbot of Agaunum”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. Saints.SQPN.com. 10 February 2013. Web. 2 August 2014. <>