Paternus St (3)

Paternus St.

(3), called also ST. PAIR, or PAER, or POIS, was born at Poitiers about the year 482. His father, Patranus, with the consent of his wife, went to Ireland, where he ended his days in holy solitude. Paternus, fired by this pious example, early embraced a monastic life in the abbey of Ansion, called in succeeding ages Marnes, and at present, after the name of a holy abbot of that house, St. Jovin des Marnes, in the diocese of Poitiers. After some time, burning with a desire to extend the monastic influence, he passed over to Wales, and in Cardiganshire founded a convent called Llan- patern-vaur. He made a visit to his father in Ireland, but was soon recalled to the monastery. Shortly afterwards he retired with St. Scubilion, and embraced an austere anchoretical life in the forest of Sciey, in the diocese of Coutances, near the sea. This desert, which was then of great extent but has since been gradually gained upon by the sea, was anciently a favorite resort of the Druids. St. Paternus converted to the faith the idolaters of that and many neighboring parts, as far as Bayeux, and prevailed upon them to demolish a pagan temple in this desert which was held in great veneration: by the ancient Gauls. St. Senier, St. Gaud, and St. Aroastes, holy priests, were his fellow-hermits in this wilderness, and his fellow-laborers in these missions. Paternus assisted in 557 at the third Council of Paris. He was consecrated bishop of Avranches by Germanus, bishop of Rouen. The Church of Avranches prospered greatly under his administration, and became noted. Paternus occupied the episcopal chair of Avranches for thirteen years, and died April 16, 565, on the same day with St. Scubilion.. Both were buried at the same place, in the oratory of Sciey, now the parish church of St. Pair, a village much frequented by pilgrims, near Granville, on the sea-coast. Paternus is titular saint of a great number of churches in those parts of France. He is commemorated by the Roman Catholic Church on April 16. See Gallia Christiana, vol. 11; Abbe Tresvau, L'Eglise de Bretgne; Bolland, Acta Sanctorum, April 15 and 16; Butler, Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Saints, April 16.

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