SAINT EXUPERIUS, BISHOP OF TOULOUSE
HE was born according to the most received
opinion, in Aquitain, and raised to the see of Toulouse after the
death of St. Sylvius. St. Jerom, who corresponded with him, bestows
the highest commendations on him in many places of his work. Above
all, he praises his charity for the poor. “To relieve their
hunger,” says he, “he suffers it himself, and condemns
himself to the severest self-denial, that he may be enabled to
administer to their wants. The paleness of his face declares the
rigor of his fasts. But his poverty makes him truly rich; so poor is
he, as to be forced to carry the body of the Lord in an osier basket,
and his blood in a glass vessel. His charity knew no bounds. It
sought for objects in the most distant parts, and the solitaries of
Egypt felt its beneficial effects.” It was in his time that the
Vandals, the Sueves, and Alans spread horrible ravages through Gaul.
The tender affection wherewith he flew to the relief of the unhappy
sufferers, drew tears of joy from St. Jerom’s eyes. This father
dedicated to him his Commentaries on the Prophet Zachary. St.
Exuperius was not witness of the taking of Toulouse by the
barbarians, God having spared him so poignant an affliction. He was
still alive in 409, since St. Paulinus of Nola, who wrote in this
year, reckons him among the illustrious bishops who then adorned the
Gallican church. Neither the place nor year of his death are known.
Pope Innocent addressed to him the decretal so famous in Church
history. It is divided into a number of articles relating to Church
discipline. St. Exuperius is honored at Toulouse on this day, and the
feast of his translation celebrated on the 14th of June. See St.
Jerom, Ep. 4, 10, 11, et Præf. in lib. 1, et 2, Comm. in Zach.
Catel, Hist. de Languedoc,1. 5, &c.