January 18

St. Volusian

Saint Volusian

When they lived:

St. Volusian lived during the early 5th century, specifically from 430 to 496 AD.

Where they lived:

St. Volusian was born and spent most of his life in Tours, a city located in the historic region of Gaul, which corresponds to modern-day France. His connection to this region plays a significant role in his life and legacy.

Notable world events during the time of their life:

  • Fall of the Western Roman Empire (476 AD): St. Volusian lived during a time of great political turmoil as the Western Roman Empire crumbled. In 476 AD, the last Roman emperor, Romulus Augustus, was deposed by the Germanic chieftain Odoacer. This marked the symbolic end of the Roman Empire, a momentous event with far-reaching consequences for Europe.
  • Migration Period (4th-6th centuries): The era in which St. Volusian lived was characterized by massive migrations of various tribal groups across Europe. The Huns, Vandals, Visigoths, and other tribes were on the move, causing upheaval and change throughout the continent.
  • Life of St. Augustine (354-430 AD): St. Augustine, one of the most influential theologians and philosophers in Christian history, lived during the earlier part of St. Volusian’s life. His writings, such as “Confessions” and “The City of God,” continued to shape Christian thought during Volusian’s time.
  • Council of Ephesus (431 AD): In 431 AD, the Council of Ephesus took place, addressing theological disputes within Christianity, particularly related to the nature of Christ. This council had a significant impact on Christian theology during St. Volusian’s lifetime.
  • Spread of Monasticism: The 5th century saw the spread of monasticism throughout Europe, with St. Martin of Tours being a prominent figure in this movement. His influence on St. Volusian’s life and devotion to the monastic lifestyle are worth noting.

Their patronage:

St. Volusian is venerated as the patron saint of Tours, France, and vine growers. His connection to Tours reflects the deep spiritual heritage of this region, and the vineyard patronage likely stems from his association with the cultivation of grapes and winemaking. His life is celebrated as a testament to unwavering faith in a time of profound change and uncertainty, making him an enduring symbol of spiritual resilience.

St. Volusian’s story is one of devotion amid chaos, an unwavering commitment to faith in the face of political and social upheaval. As an emblematic figure of Tours, he reminds us that even in turbulent times, faith can be a source of strength and stability. His patronage over vine growers also reminds us of the enduring connection between spirituality and the land, where faith is cultivated like the grapes that yield the finest wines, growing stronger with time.


Life and Devotion

Saint Volusian of Tours, Also called Volusianus, might be considered a lesser saint, but he is highly revered. However, not much is known about the history of this saint.

Saint Volusian was born in France, Europe, on an unknown date. He was the 7th Bishop of Tours, France, and he also occupied Senatorial power.

Saint Volusian came from a rich and distinguished family. He was highly respected and was related to his predecessor, Saint Perpetuus, and even to Ricius, who was an Aristocrat and Bishop of Limoges.

Even though he was a devout Bishop, it was a time in which clerical celibacy was the rule, and so Saint Volucia was married.

His wife, whose name is unknown, was described as foul-mouthed, bitter,and having a bad temper. His marriage was one of his first challenges in life.

Saint Volusian ruled at a time when Barbaric groups threatened to takeover the government.

Saint Volusian was active in politics, even as a Bishop. It was in those days that Clovis was King of the Franks. It was not long before the Visigoths, early Germanic pagans, began to wage war on France.

As the Visigoths continued to conquer the town, Saint Volusian became more afraid. Eventually, the Visigoths hijacked Saint Volusian’s diocese.

The Goths believed that Saint Volusian was making plans to team up with Clovis to overthrow them. This caused them to exile Saint Volusian to Spain.

Death and Canonization

Saint Volusian died around the year 498. The cause of his death, however, remains debated.

The most debated point is that Saint Volusian died a Martyr. It was told that the Goth followed him into Spain, cornered him, and beheaded him.

This reported Martyrdom might have been the basis for his Canonization.

Much of what is known about Saint Volusian was told in a book written by Gregory of Tours almost a century later. Saint Volusian is celebrated by the Catholic Church on the 18th of January.

5 Interesting Facts About St. Volusian

  • Did you know that Saint Volusian is the patron saint of Foix? Foix
    is a commune that is located in the Occitanie region of
    southwestern France.
  • Did you know that some people place Saint Volusian’s place of death
    to be Toulouse, France?
  • Did you know that Saint Volusian communicated his fears about the
    Goths in a letter to Bishop Ruricius? Ruricius had replied in good
    humor about how Volusian was already in a war and his marriage had
    so I had nothing to be afraid of.
  • Did you know that Saint Volusian’s Felix was taken to Foix?
  • Did you know that an Augustinian Church was built in Foix, Saint
    Volusian’s honor?

Prayer to St. Volusian

Lord, may we venerate and apply the life of St. Volusian, your humble servant of Tours, into our daily lives. That we may be humble of heart and Strong in our proclamation of the gospel of Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit forever and ever.