Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1745
Presbyter Cato buries the dead, celebrates Eucharist, and dies of plague in Clermont, AD 571. Account of Gregory of Tours, "Histories", Tours (Gaul), AD 573–594.
Plague strikes Clermont.
Tunc et Cato presbiter mortuos est. Nam cum de hac lue multi fugissent, ille tamen populum sepeliens et missas viritim dicens, numquam ab eo loco discessit. Hic autem presbiter multae humanitatis et satis dilectur pauperum fuit; et credo, haec causa ei, si quid superbiae habuit, medicamentum fuit.
(ed. Krusch 1937: 166)
Plague strikes Clermont.
It was then that the presbyter Cato died. Many fled from the plague, but he never left his post, burying the dead and saying one Mass after another. This presbyter was a person of great kindness and was devoted to the poor. I believe that because of this [his sins] committed out of pride were forgiven.
(trans. Thorpe 1974: 226, altered by J. Szafranowski)


The plague broke out in Auvergne in 571.

Place of event:

  • Gaul
  • Clermont

About the source:

Author: Gregory of Tours
Title: The History of the Franks, Gregorii episcopi Turonensis historiarum libri X, Histories
Origin: Tours (Gaul)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Gregory of Tours (Gaul) wrote his ten books of Histories (known commonly in English as the History of the Franks) during his episcopal reign in Tours between 573 and 594. The books vary in scope and length. The first book covers 5,596 years from the creation of the world to AD 397, that is the death of Saint Martin of Tours, Gregory`s predecessor in bishopric. The second book deals with the history of Gaul between 397 and 511, the latter being the year of death of King Clovis I. The third and fourth books cover the next 64 years till the death of Austrasian King Sigibert II in 575. Finally, the following six books describe exclusively the sixteen years from 575 to 591. Probably in 594, Gregory added the list of bishops of Tours in the end of the Histories, with brief accounts of their actions.
B. Krusch ed., Gregorii Episcopi Turonensis Historiarum Libri X [in:] Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Merovingiciarum 1.1, Hannover 1884 (repr. 1951): 1­-537.
Gregory of Tours, The History of the Franks, trans. L. Thorpe, London 1974.


Functions within the Church - Urban presbyter
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Ritual activity - Eucharist
Ritual activity - Burying the dead
Reverenced by
Ritual activity - Daily mass
Pastoral activity - Helping the poor and needy
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1745,