ST. LUPUS, OR LEU, ARCHBISHOP OF SENS, C.
HE was a saint from the cradle, and brought up in
the sanctuary, like another Samuel, in learning and piety among the
clergy of Orleans, his native city. It was always a favorite devotion
with him to visit often the tombs of the martyrs, honoring God in his
faithful servants who had glorified his divine name by the sacrifice
of their lives. Studying to walk in their spirit, he subdued his
flesh by austere fasts, watching in holy prayer, humiliations, and
penance. Being extremely sensible of the sufferings and necessities
of all that were in distress, he carried his hospitality and charity
to a degree, which on any other occasion would have been esteemed
profusion. Having succeeded Artemius in the archbishopric of Sens in
609, he signalized himself by the most zealous discharge of every
branch of the pastoral duty, and showed that as no dignity could
inspire him with pride, so no application to public employments could
divert him from constant attention to God. When the safety of his
country demanded his assistance, he was active in maintaining the
public tranquility; and after the death of king Theodoric, he
supported the party of his son Sigebert, to the utmost of his power.
Afterward when king Clotaire was become master of Burgundy, he sent
Farulph thither to take care of his affairs. This minister was
exasperated against the saint because he did not bring him presents;
accused him falsely to the king, and was seconded in his calumnies by
Medigisil, abbot of St. Remegius’s in the suburbs of the Sens,
whose aim it was to supplant St. Lupus in his archbishopric.
Clotaire had not yet learned how dangerous a thing
it is in a prince to listen to, or encourage informers, those
caterpillars of the state; and, being seduced by the artifices of
flattering slanderers, banished St. Lupus, and gave orders to
Landegesil, a pagan officer, to conduct him to Ausene, a village in
Vimeu, not far from Lyons. The holy bishop being come thither, and
finding profane temples in which the people of the country worshipped
false gods, believed he was sent by God for their conversion, which
he soon compassed by his zealous preaching and example. By restoring
sight to a blind man he converted Landegesil, the duke or governor,
and baptized him with several that were still pagans, in the armies
of the Franks. In the mean time St. Vinebaud, abbot of St. Lupus at
Troyes, and the citizens of Sens, solicited king Clotaire to recall
St. Lupus. That prince, who was then near Rouen, was made sensible of
the injury he had done the holy man, and of the slanders of his
accusers. He therefore disgraced and detested them, sent for St.
Lupus, prostrated himself at his feet to ask him forgiveness, caused
him to eat at his table, and sent him back to his church loaded with
presents. The saint never showed the least resentment against his
enemies, sought no other revenge than by conferring the greatest
benefits on his calumniators, and by the evenness of temper with
which he bore his disgrace, gave the highest mark of true heroism and
sincere virtue. He died happily about the year 623, on the 1st of
September, at the manor of Brinon, which still belongs to his church.
His body was carried back to Sens, and buried as he had ordered, out
of humility, under the water-conduit pipe in the church of St.
Columba. His name occurs in the Roman Martyrology, and in those of
Ado and Usuard. See his life written soon after his death in Surius,
and F. Velde the Bollandist, t. 1, Sept. p. 248. See also Cointe’s
Annales Eccl. Franc. An. 613, n. 4, Fleury,1. 37, n. 16, t. 4. Rivet,
Hist. Littér. t. 4, p. 192.