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ST. AVITUS, OR AVY, ABBOT, NEAR ORLEANS

HE was a native of Orleans, and retiring into Auvergne, took the monastic habit together with St. Calais in the abbey of Menat, at that time very small; though afterwards enriched by queen Brunehault, and by St. Boner, bishop of Clermont. The two saints soon after returned to Miscy, a famous abbey situated on the Loiret near the Loire, a league and a half below Orleans. It was founded towards the end of the reign of Clovis I. by St. Euspicius a holy priest, honored on the 14th of June, and his nephew St. Maximin, or Mesmin, whose name this monastery, which is now of the Cistercian order bears. Many call St. Maximin the first abbot, others St. Euspicius the first, St. Maximin the second, and St. Avitus the third. But our saint and St. Calais made not a long stay at Misci, though St. Maximin gave them a gracious reception. In quest of a closer retirement St. Avitus, who had succeeded St. Maximin, soon after resigned the abbacy, as Lethuld, a learned monk of Misci, assures us, and with St. Calais lived a recluse in the territory now called Dunois, on the frontiers of la Perche. Others joining them, St. Calais retired into a forest in Maine, and king Clotaire built a church and monastery for St. Avitus and his companions. This is at present a Benedictin nunnery called St. Avy of Chateau-dun, and is situated on the Loire at the foot of the hill on which the town of Chateau-dun is built, in the diocese of Chartres. Three famous monks, Leobin, afterwards bishop of Chartres, Euphronius, and Rusticus, attended our saint to his happy death, which happened about the year 530. His body was carried up the Loire to Orleans, and buried with great pomp in that city. A church was built over his tomb which still subsists, and his feast is kept at Orleans, Paris, and in other places. Some distinguish St. Avitus abbot of Miser from the abbot of Chateau-dun; but all circumstances show that it was the same holy man who retired from Misci into the territory of Chateau-dun. See the life of St. Avitus published by Henschenius in 1701; the New Paris Breviary the 17th of June; Le Cointe’s Annals, and chiefly the book entitled, Les Aménités de la Critique, t. 2, p. 8.








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