Posted by: anna | October 17, 2010

St Aurea

Today (4 October) we commemorate St Aurea, patron of Paris. From Miss Dunbar:

St. Aurea (7), or AURA, Oct. 4. +666. Patron of Paris. Represented (1) with the corpse of the cellarer whom she raised to life; (2) holding a nail, in allusion to her penance. Born in Syria. Her parents were Maurinus and Quiretia, Christians. After their death she gave herself up to religious austerities for a time in her own country, until, finding too many ties to the world among her friends and acquaintances, she took ship without informing them of her design, and arrived in France during the reign of Dagobert, the seventh king of the French. When she found that she had come to a country where there were many houses of religious retirement and hundreds of holy virgins serving God in them, she was filled with thankfulness. She went to Paris, where many holy men, secular as well as ecclesiastic, shed lustre on the court by their wisdom and virtue. Among these were St. Arnoul or Arnulf, mayor of the palace ; St. Rudo, treasurer of France ; St. Owen, a great and valiant commander under Dagobert ; St. Eloi (Eligius), a goldsmith of Limousin, who was called, for his charity, ‘The Father of the Poor’. To him the king had given a fine large house in Paris, which he transformed into a Benedictine nunnery, and built in it a church dedicated in the names of SS. Martial and VALERIA, patrons of his native province. All the virtues and piety of St. Aurea could no more be hidden than the light of the sun, St. Eloi soon found her out, and made her abbess of his new convent, though she would have chosen to obey rather than to command. Here she ruled over three hundred nuns. One day, in the chapel of the nunnery, a certain deacon read the Gospel so badly that the good abbess lost all patience, seized the book out of his hand, and read it herself. Afterwards she acknowledged with deep regret the irreverence of her conduct, and imposed upon herself, as a penance, to recite the whole of the hundred and fifty psalms daily, seated in a chair with nails in it specially constructed for discomfort. This penance she accomplished with great devotion, having resigned, for the time, her office of abbess. A nun named Deda, who had the whole charge of the revenue and expenditure of the community, died while Aurea was absent at a farm which formed part of the possessions of the convent. No one else understood the business, and great trouble and loss were threatened to the nuns. Three days after Deda’s death Aurea came home and raised her to life. Deda gave a satisfactory account of her stewardship, and set the affairs of the house in order. Some time afterwards she departed in peace. During the pestilence that ravaged France in 666, more than half of the nuns died. St. Eloi, Bishop of Noyon, Tournay, and Vermandois, who had died the year before, appeared robed in white, to a young man and bade him go and tell the abbess Aurea to come to him. She then died, aged sixty-eight, having been abbess thirty-three years.
Holy St Aurea, pray to God for us.

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