Silvinus addresses Venantius with a priestly speech (praedicatio sacerdotalis); this probably means that he was a presbyter. His title, abba, may suggest that he was responsible for the basilica in Tours and an abbot to the clerical community consisting of its clergy. For more on presbyters described as abbates, see Pietri 1983.
Venantius was afterwards ordained presbyter; see , where he is asked to celebrate Eucharist.
The terminus ante quem of Venantius' presbyterial activity is the year 507, when Licinius, who succeeded him in abbacy, became bishop of Tours. Thus Venantius was probably active in the last quarter of the 5th century.