Symphorianus a Gallic martyr at Autun in the reign of Aurelian. He was cited before the praefect Heraclius because he had refused to honor the statue of Berecynthia, and rejected the influence of appeals and scourgings. His mother supported him with her exhortations to fidelity. He was beheaded without the town walls and buried in a cell in the fields. His grave became so remarkable for cures and miracles that it compelled the reverence even of the heathen. The narrative in the Acta Beati Symph., as here outlined, seems to involve something of fact. The worship of Berecynthia among the Jedui is a historical fact. Gregory of Tours mentions Symphorianus and the miracles wrought by his relics (De Gloria Mart. c. 52). Later tradition says that a church was, in time, built over his grave. The story cannot, however, date further back than the days of Gregory, as is evident from the chosen and even pompous language and the legendary conclusion. The death of Symphorianus is variously fixed in A.D. 180 (the reign of Aurelius), 270, or 280 (Aurelian). He is commemorated on Aug. 22. See the Acta SS. s.v. — Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s.v.

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