28 February 2024

Ss Romanus and Lupicinus, Abbots

From Fr Alban Butler's Lives of the Saints:

ROMANUS at thirty-five years of age left his relations, and spent some time in the monastery of Ainay, (called in Latin Athanacense,) at Lyons, at the great church at the conflux of the Saone and Rone, which the faithful had built over the ashes of the famous martyrs of that city: for their bodies being burnt by the pagans, their ashes were thrown into the Rhone; but a great part of them was gathered by the Christians, and deposited in this place. Romanus, a short time after took with him the institutions and conferences of Cassian, and retired into the forests of mount Jura, between France and Switzerland, and fixed his abode at a place called Condate, at the conflux of the rivers Bienne and Aliere, where he found a spot of ground fit for culture, and some trees which furnished him with a kind of wild fruit. Here he spent his time in prayer, reading, and labouring for his subsistence. Lupicinus his brother came to him some time after in company with others, who were followed by several more, drawn by the fame of the virtue and miracles of these two saints. Here they built the monastery of Condate, and, their numbers increasing, that of Leuconne, two miles distant to the North; and, on a rock, a nunnery called La Beaume (now St. Romain de la Roche) which no men were allowed ever to enter, and where St. Romanus chose his burial place. The brothers governed the monks jointly and in great harmony, though Lupicinus was more inclined to severity of the two. He usually resided at Leuconne with one hundred and fifty monks. The brethren at Condate, when they were enriched with many lands, changed their diet, which was only bread made of barley and bran, and pulse dressed often without salt or oil, and brought to table wheat-bread, fish, and a variety of dishes. Lupicinus being informed hereof by Romanus, came to Condate on the sixth day after this innovation, and corrected the abuse. The abstinence which he prescribed to his monks was milder than that practised by the oriental monks, and by those of Lerins, partly because the Gauls were naturally great eaters, and partly because they were employed in very hard manual labour. But they never touched fowls or any flesh-meat, and only were allowed milk and eggs in time of sickness. Lupicinus, for his own part, used no other bed than a chair or a hard board; never touched wine, and would scarcely ever suffer a drop either of oil or milk to be poured on his pulse. In summer his subsistence for many years was only hard bread moistened in cold water, so that he could eat it with a spoon. His tunic was made of various skins of beasts sown together, with a cowl: he used wooden shoes, and wore no stockings unless when he was obliged to go out of the monastery. St. Romanus died about the year 460, and is mentioned in the Roman Martyrology on the 28th of February. St. Lupicinus survived him almost twenty years, and is honoured in the Roman Martyrology on the 21st of March. He was succeeded in the abbacy of Condate by Minaucius, who, in 480, chose St. Eugendus his coadjutor. See the lives of the two brothers, SS. Romanus and Lupicinus, and that of St. Eugendus or Oyend, compiled by a monk of Condate of the same age; St. Gregory of Tours, l. de Vitis Patr. c. 1. Mabill. Annal. Ben. l. 1. ad an. 510. t. 1. p. 23. Tillemont, t. 16. p. 142. Bulteau, l. 1. 1

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