Nicet(As) or Nicetus, St (3)

Nicet(as) Or Nicetus, ST. (3), of Treves, one of the most celebrated prelates of ancient Gaul, lived in the 6th century. His life has been written by Gregory of Tours; it is found in ch. 17 of the Vito Patrum. At first a monk, then abbot of an unknown monastery, he gained in this position the esteem and friendship of the king, Theodoric, whom, however, according to report, he failed not to reprimand for the looseness of his moral habits. After the death of St. Aprunculus, Theodoric chose Nicetas archbishop of Treves. It is supposed that the ceremony of his ordination took place in 527. Nicetas owes his renown to the firmness of his character. He more than once censured the government and the manners of Theodoric and his successors. He even had the boldness to excommunicate king Clotaire, for which the latter finally drove Nicetas from his seat. But Clotaire's successor, king Sigebert, recalled Nicetas. He attended the councils of Clermont in 535, of Toul in 540, of Orleans in 544, the second Council of Clermont, convened about the same time, and the Council of Paris in 555. He died Dec. 5, 566. Gregory of Tours has not been the only biographer of Nicetas; Florien, abbd of Roman-Moutier, has left us a grand eulogy of his eloquence and his virtue. Fortunatus says of him, "Totius orbis amor, .pontificumque caput." Several other contemporaries have equally praised this powerful bishop. He enjoyed great authority, which made him so bold as to admonish the emperor Justinian himself about 563, and to charge him to disavow the principles of the Eutychian heresy. Several writings of Nicetas are preserved. D'Achery has published in vol. iii of his Spicilegium the treatises De Viqiliis servorum Dei and De Psalmodia bono. In addition to these two works are two letters, one to Justinian, the other to (iodosinda, queen of the Lombards, urging her to work for the conversion of her husband, Alboin, who was an Arian. Several times reproduced by the press, these two letters are found in the Councils of Gaul of Don Labar, ol. 1145, 1151, and in the collection of Don Bouquet, 4:76-78. See Hist. litt. de la France, 3:291; Gallia Christiana, 13:380; Gregorius Turonensis, Vito Patrum, ch. xvii; Lea, Studies in Ch. Hist. p. 300.

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