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ST. MARCELLUS, BISHOP OF PARIS, C.

HE was born at Paris in the fourth age, of parents not conspicuous for any rank in the world, but on whom his virtue reflected the greatest honor. Purity of heart, modesty, meekness, mortification, and charity, were the ingredients of his character in his youth; and he gave himself entirely to the discipline of virtue and prayer, so as to seem, while he lived in the flesh disengaged both from the world and the flesh, says the author of his life. The uncommon gravity of his manners, and his progress in sacred learning so strongly recommended him to Prudentius, bishop of Paris, that when he was yet young this prelate ordained him reader of that church. From this tune the saint is said to have given frequent proofs of a wonderful gift of miracles. He was afterwards promoted to the dignity of priesthood, and upon the decease of Prudentius was unanimously chosen bishop of Paris. As he undertook this charge by compulsion and with trembling, so a just apprehension of its obligations made him always humble, watchful, and indefatigable in all his functions. It is related that among other miracles he freed the country from a great serpent which inhabited the sepulchre of an adulteress. But the circumstances of this action depend upon the authority of one who wrote near two hundred years after the time, and who, being a foreigner, took them upon trust, and probably upon popular reports. The saint died in the beginning of the fifth century, on the 1st of November, on which day he is named in the Roman Martyrology, though in the Gallican his feast is deferred to the 3d. His body was buried about a quarter of a league from Paris, in a village which is now joined to the town, and called the suburb of St. Marceau. His relics have been long since kept in the cathedral. See the life of St. Marcellus by Fortunatus,* published by Surius.








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