Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1761
Presbyter Patroclus is a hermit leaving near Bourges (Gaul); he dies AD 576. Account of Gregory of Tours, "Histories", Tours (Gaul), AD 573-594.
Fuit autem in Biturigo termino reclausus nomine Patroclus, presbiterii honore praeditus, mirae sanctitatis ac religionis, vir magnae abstinentiae, qui plerumque ab inaedia diversis incommodis vexabatur. Vinum, sicera vel omne quod inebriare potest non bibebat praeter aquam parumper melle linitam; sed nec pulmentum aliquod utebatur. Cuius victus erat panis in aqua infusus atque sale respersus. Huius oculi numquam caligaverunt. Erat enim in oratione assiduus, quam si parumper praetermisisset, aut legebat aut scribebat. Frigoriticis, pustulis laborantibus vel reliquis morbis saepe per orationem remedia conferebat. Sed et alia signa multa fecit, quae per ordinem longum est enarrare. Cilicium semper puro adhibens corpori. Qui octogenaria aetate abscedens a saeculo, migravit ad Christum. Scripsimus et de huius vita libellum.
(ed. Krusch 1937: 204-205)
In the neighbourhood (termino) of Bourges there lived a recluse called Patroclus. He had been given the honour of presbyter and was [a man] of remarkable holiness and piety, and of great abstinence. He was often suffering from diverse detriments due to fasting. He did not drink wine, cider, or any other [drink] that can intoxicate, but only water slightly sweetened with honey; neither did he eat any meat. His diet was bread soaked in water and sprinkled with salt. His eyes never closed. He was praying constantly, and if he stopped for a moment, he either read or wrote. He often cured with prayer those suffering from fever, pustules, or other maladies. He performed many other miracles (signa) which it would take a long time to enumerate. He always wore a hair-shirt over his naked body. He departed from this world to Christ being eighty years old. We have written a little book also of his life.
(trans. Thorpe 1974: 265, altered by J. Szafranowski)


Gregory of Tours seems to hint that Patroclus died at the same time as Saint Germanus, Bishop of Paris, who passed away in 576.
Patroclus's life is described by Gregory in his Life of the Fathers 9, see [87]. Surprisingly, he does not mention there that Patroclus was a presbyter.

Place of event:

  • Gaul
  • Bourges

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.


Food/Clothes/Housing - Clothes
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Monastic or common life - Hermit
Impediments or requisits for the office - Age
Fame of sanctity
Further ecclesiastical career - None
Devotion - Vigils
Devotion - Fasting
Devotion - Ascetic practice
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1761,