Lives of the Saints

Our Models and Protectors

April 20
  

Saint Marcellinus

Bishop of Embrun
(† 374)

Saint Marcellinus
Saint Marcellinus

Saint Marcellinus was born in Africa of a noble family; with two other Christians desiring to evangelize Gaul, Vincent and Domninus, he went to Pope Saint Damasus. The young men were sent to Eusebius, bishop of Verceil, who encouraged them for their mission and announced to them that they would have much to suffer. The three were ordained, and Marcellinus was consecrated bishop of Embrun by Eusebius and the bishop of Valencia. The gift of miracles fortified the preaching of Marcellinus at Embrun, in a region bordering on the Alps, while his companions continued their labors at Digne. Saint Domninus was later consecrated bishop of Digne by Saint Marcellinus, and energetically protected his flock from the errors of Arius; eventually Saint Vincent succeeded him there.

Marcellinus built at Embrun a chapel in which he passed his nights in prayer, after laboring all day in the exercise of his sacred calling. By his pious example, as well as by his earnest words and his miracles, he converted many of the pagans among whom he lived. A striking miracle, added to these influences, brought the entire population of Embrun into the church, with the exception of one idolater, who later also abandoned his gods. The waters in the nearby baptistry were increased, without the human intervention which had been proposed, to accommodate great numbers of catechumens who, during the feast of Christmas, would be baptized. The same event occurred again at Easter, and the sick were healed by the waters. For as long as the ancient baptistry remained standing, the miracle was renewed, as Saint Gregory of Tours and Saint Adon of Vienne attest — that is, for more than five hundred years.

Saint Marcellinus died at Embrun about the year 374, and was interred there. Saint Gregory of Tours, who speaks of him in terms of highest praise, narrates some of the countless miracles which multiplied at his tomb.

Reflection. Though you may not be called upon to preach, endeavor to give good example, remembering that deeds often speak louder than words.

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)