Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 115
Venantius, abbot and presbyter in Tours (Gaul), says office in his oratory every night. One night he has to battle demons in order to enter the oratory, before 507. Account of Gregory of Tours, "Life of the Fathers", Tours (Gaul), ca 590.
Shortly before the passage cited in this record, Venantius' oratory is described as the "oratory of the priest" (sacerdotis oratorium).
Nam surgente eo quadam nocte de stratu suo ad reddendum officium, vidit duos arietes magnos suis foribus adsistentes, quasi praestolantes adventum eius. Quo viso, furibundi ad eum cum impetu valido diregunt. At ille signum crucis opponens, illis evaniscentibus, absque metu oratorium est ingressus.
(ed. Krusch 1885: 276)
Shortly before the passage cited in this record, Venantius' oratory is described as the "oratory of the priest" (sacerdotis oratorium).
Rising from his bed one night to go to say the office, he saw two great rams standing in front of his door, as if they had expected his coming, and as soon as they saw him they threw themselves at him with fury. But he opposed them with the sign of the cross, and saw them disappear, and he entered his oratory without fear.
(trans. James 1991: 103)


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.

Place of event:

  • Gaul
  • Tours

About the source:

Author: Gregory of Tours
Title: Life of the Fathers, Vita Patrum, Liber Vitae Patrum
Origin: Tours (Gaul)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Gregory of Tours (bishop of Tours in Gaul in 573-594) started writing his Life of the Fathers some time before 587 and finished it around 592 or slightly later, as shown by the cross-references to his other works.  It is a collection of twenty Gallic saints` lives of different lengths. They all are in some way connected to Gregory`s family or church interests, while also exemplifying different virtues leading to sanctity. Saints presented in the Life of the Fathers are all either ascetics or bishops.
More on the text: James 1991: ix-xxv.
B. Krusch ed., Gregorii Episcopi Turonensis Miracula et Opera Minora, Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum 1.2, Hannover 1885, 211-294.
Gregory of Tours, Life of the Fathers, trans. E. James, Liverpool 1991.


Described by a title - Sacerdos/ἱερεύς
Monastic or common life - Monastic superior (abbot/prior)
Ritual activity - Divine office/Liturgy of the hours
Devotion - Private devotional practice
Devotion - Supernatural experience
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER115,