Saint Honoratus, Bishop and Confessor

The word “saint” simply means holy.
We honor saints because these men and women, though imperfect and full of foibles as all humans are, nevertheless strived to live an exemplary life by loving, honoring, and obeying God, and serving their fellow men.
It is especially because saints are imperfect that they and their lives can inspire us to be better people. Their selfless lives of service also gives us hope, especially in times of great darkness, that there is good in this world.
St. Honoratus
Today, January 16, is the feast day of St. Honoratus, who was born c. 350 and died 429 at Arles, France.
Saint Honoratus was born into a Gallo-Roman family of consular rank. He was well-versed in the liberal arts.

Note: In the medieval Western university, the seven liberal arts were grammar, rhetoric, and logic (the trivium) and geometry, arithmetic, music, and astronomy (the quadrivium). In modern colleges and universities, the liberal arts include the study of literature, languages, philosophy, history, mathematics, and science.

In his youth, St. Honoratus converted from paganism to Christianity, then won his older brother, Venantius, to Christ. The two brothers desired to forsake the world entirely; but their father put continual temptations in their way. Finally, they secured the services of Saint Caprasius, a holy hermit, who acted as their instructor in the ways of holiness.
The three sailed from Marseilles to Greece, intending to live there in some unknown desert and learn more about monasticism. Venantius died at Modon; Honoratus was also ill. He and his mentor were forced to return home via Rome. He intended to live the life of a hermit, but God had other plans for him.
Around 410, Honoratus established himself on the small desert island Lérins, where he was joined by SS. Lupus of Troyes, Eucherius of Lyons, and Hilary of Arles, as well as others. This was the beginning of the celebrated monastery of Lérins, whose history lasted for nearly 1,400 years. Some of the monks lived in community; others were anchorites. The Rule was that of Saint Pachomius.

Lerins Abbey

Lérins Abbey


About 426-427, he was forced to become archbishop of the important see of Arles. However, the labors in the field he did not want lasted less than three years. Honoratus died exhausted by his austerities and apostolic labors in 429.
His relative Hilary, who succeeded him as bishop of Arles, wrote a panegyric of Saint Honoratus that speaks of the trouble taken by the saint to ensure that no one in this island community should be dispirited, overworked, or idle; and “it is astonishing how much work he got through himself, of poor health as he was.” Many visitors found their way to the island (including Saint John Cassian), and no one left it “without a perfectly carefree mind.”
Honoratus is one of those blessedly joyful saints.
“Be kind, be kind, and you too will become a saint!” -St. Vincent de Paul
For the posts we’ve published on other saints, as well as angels (who, of course, being holy, are also saints), go to our “Angels and Saints” page!
H/t my friend John Molloy
~Eowyn

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0 responses to “Saint Honoratus, Bishop and Confessor

  1. CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain
    More Than Mere Kindness
    There is kindness in Love; but Love and kindness are not coterminous, and when kindness (in the sense given above) is separated from the other elements of Love, it involves a certain fundamental indifference to its object, and even something like contempt of it. Kindness consents very readily to the removal of its object—we have all met people whose kindness to animals is constantly leading them to kill animals lest they should suffer. Kindness, merely as such, cares not whether its object becomes good or bad, provided only that it escapes suffering. As Scripture points out, it is bastards who are spoiled; the legitimate sons, who are to carry on the family tradition, are punished(Heb 12:8). It is for people whom we care nothing about that we demand happiness on any terms; with our friends, our lovers, our children, we are exacting and would rather see them suffer much than be happy in contemptible and estranging modes. If God is Love, He is, by definition, something more than mere kindness. And it appears, from all the record, that though He has often rebuked us and condemned us, He has never regarded us with contempt. He has paid us the intolerable compliment of loving us, in the deepest, most tragic, most inexorable sense.

     
    • Lori, obviously you have no understanding of kindness, nor have you interpreted the discussion of kindness in its proper context as you have set out by C.S. Lewis. In his unique writing style, he is telling us what true kindness is not, for if it is a part of Love as he defines it, it cannot also encompass contempt. You have missed the point not only of the post, but you have missed the true meaning of the communication from C.S. Lewis. And, it is further noteworthy that you say absolutely nothing about St. Honoratus, in spite of his incredible life of holiness, which should be an example to us all. You apparently find it necessary to attempt to criticize a wonderful virtue; I can only interpret that as a gesture of anti-Catholicism. What is interesting is that C.S. Lewis wanted to become a Catholic, but did not do so because he did not want the rejection of his family.

       
    • Hi, Lori,
      What does your long comment have to do with the subject of my post, St. Honoratus? For the life of me, I can’t figure out what your point is, other than as some kind of scold.

       
  2. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this wonderful and amazing post on St. Honoratus, Catholic Bishop and Confessor. What a wonderful example he is to us of being a hard worker which work in part lead to his health problems, yet being kind, loving and full of joy. And thank you also for setting forth the important directive from St. Vincent de Paul, another French saint, who served the poorest of the poor and the destitute, his whole life, reminding us of the importance of kindness in our mortal life, and how kindness will reward us in our eternal life forever and ever.
    Thank you also for the picture of the monastery. What a beautiful place!
    God bless you Dr. Eowyn!

     

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