Lives of the Saints

Our Models and Protectors

January 16
  

Saint Honoratus

Archbishop of Arles
(† 429)

Saint Honoratus
Saint Honoratus

Saint Honoratus was of a consular Roman family that had settled in Gaul. In his youth he renounced the worship of idols and gained his elder brother, Venantius, to Christ. The two brothers, convinced of the hollowness of the things of this world, desired to renounce it with all its pleasures, but a fond pagan father put continual obstacles in their way. At length, taking with them for their director Saint Caprais, a holy hermit, they sailed from Marseilles to Greece, intending to live there unknown in a desert. Venantius soon died happily at Methone, and Honoratus, who was ill, was obliged to return to Gaul with his guide.

He first led the life of a hermit in the mountains near Frejus. Two small islands lie in the sea near that coast; on the smaller, now known as Saint Honoré, the Saint settled, and when others came to him there, he founded the famous monastery of Lerins, about the year 400. Some of his followers he appointed to live in community; others, who seemed more perfect, in separated cells as anchorites. His rule was borrowed in large part from that of Saint Pachomius.

Nothing can be more amiable than the description Saint Hilary has given of the excellent virtues of this company of saints, especially of the charity, concord, humility, compunction, and devotion which reigned among them under the conduct of their holy Abbot. Saint Honoratus was, by compulsion, consecrated Archbishop of Arles in 426, and died, exhausted with austerities and apostolical labors, in 429.

Reflection. The soul cannot truly serve God while it is involved in the distractions and pleasures of the world. Saint Honoratus knew this, and chose to be a servant of Christ his Lord. Resolve, in whatever state you are, to live absolutely detached from the world in spirit, and to separate yourself corporeally as much as possible from it.

Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler's Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).