Saint Yrieix (Arédius)

« Yrieix, known as Aredius in his lifetime, was born in Limoges around 510. He was the eldest of three children, all of whom were born into the upper crust of Limousin society; their father Jocondus was from a powerful Gallo-Roman family, and their mother Pélagie was related to the son of Clovis. In his adolescence, Yrieix was sent to the court of Theudebert I to be educated, and there he came to know the Bishop of Trier. He eventually made his way to Trier, where he made a name for himself. It is said that during mass, a dove landed on his head and stayed with him for a month’s worth of services, despite efforts to remove it and have a reputation as a modest man. In 530, upon the death of his father, he returned to Limoges and eventually became
a hermit and lived at La Rochette, a small cave located in Attanum, just thirty kilometers south of Limoges. Years later, he founded a small religious community of his own in Attanum, composed of a monastery with two churches, Saint-Julien and Sainte-Hilaire, as well as an oratory, Saint-Maximin. In addition to being founder and patron of the community, he performed numerous pilgrimages to major sites such as Tours, Puy, and Poitiers, and on these trips made a name for himself through befriending many esteemed figures of the sixth-century Limousin: the monk Fortunat (future bishop of Poitiers), queen Radegonde (founder of the monastery of Sainte-Croix and future saint herself), and most importantly, Gregory of Tours, who ended up chronicling parts of Yrieix’s life. He performed miracles throughout his lifetime, as noted by Gregory, and died on the 24 August 591. His body was buried in the basilica of Sainte-Hilaire, probably the location of the church that now bears his name, and he continued to perform miracles posthumously—so many, in fact, that the town of Attanum eventually acquired the name Saint Yrieix  »

This rough vita was constructed from informative pamphlets from the church of St. Yrieix in St.-Yrieix-la-Perche, which compile various parts of Gregory of Tours’ texts mentioning Yrieix (Aredius in Gregory’s time).

Extrait de la thèse de maîtrise de Sears, Andrew Russell, Emory University, USA

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