Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1978
An anonymous presbyter and monk from the basilica of Saint Julian in Tours (Gaul) celebrates mass during the vigil he holds before the deposition of the Julian`s relics in the church, AD 573/585. Account of Gregory of Tours, "The Miracles of the Martyr Julian", Tours (Gaul), AD 573/585.
In the Chapter 34, monks from Tours decide to build a basilica in honour of Saint Julian. They ask Bishop Gregory of Tours for the relics of the saint.
Sed nec hoc silere puto quid in nocte illa, priusquam sanctae reliquiae ibidem collocarentur, sit gestum. Monachus ipsius loci, dum de adventu solemnitatis gauderet et singulos quosque ad cellariolum basilicae promptissimus invitaret, hortans ut omnes in basilica fideliter vigilarent, extracto a vase vino, coepit eis causa devotionis cum gaudio propinare, dicens: "Magnum nobis patrocinium in beatum martyrem pietas divina largitur. Idcirco rogo caritatem vestram ut unanimiter vigiletis mecum. Cras enim santae eius reliquiae in hoc loco sunt collocandae."
Exacta quoque cum sacris hymnis modulisque caelestibus nocte, celebratis etiam missarum solemniis, festivitate ovans clericus coepit eos iterum, quod prius invitaverat, rogare ad refectionem, dicens: "Gratias vobis ago quod sic ad vigilandum immobiles perstitistis."
Sed nec martyr diu distulit bonam voluntatem virtutis suae gratia munerare. Nam ingressus promptuarium clericus reperit cupellam, quam pene mediam reliquerat, per superiorem aditum redundare, in tantum ut copia defluentis vini rivum per terram ad ostium usque deduceret.
(ed. de Nie 2015: 386-388, summarised by J. Szafranowski)
In the Chapter 34, monks from Tours decide to build a basilica in honour of Saint Julian. They ask Bishop Gregory of Tours for the relics of the saint.
But I think I should not be silent about what happened during the night before the holy relics were placed there. The monk in charge of the place (monachus ipsius loci), joyful about the approaching solemnity, urged those, whom he had hastened to invite to a small room (cellariolum) in the basilica, to celebrate the vigil together faithfully in the basilica. Drawing wine from a cask, he happily began to drink to their devotion, saying: "The divine goodness grants us powerful patronage through the blessed martyr. Therefore I ask your charity to keep wholeheartedly the vigil with me. For tomorrow his holy relics are to be installed here."
After having spent the night singing sacred hymns and heavenly melodies, and after celebrating the solemnity of mass, the cleric, elated about the feast, again began to ask those whom he had previously invited to take a meal with him, saying: "I thank you for persisting in the vigils with such unremitting concentration."
And the martyr did not delay in rewarding the goodwill with the grace of his power. For when the cleric entered the storeroom he found the small cask, which he had left barely half full, overflowing so vigorously through its opening at the top that the abundance of the overflowing wine made a rivulet to the door.
(ed. de Nie 2015: 387-389, slightly altered and summarised by J. Szafranowski)


These events took place when Gregory was already bishop in Tours, that is, after 573.
The Latin term cellariolum is not clear. It might indicate both a small room, a little cellar, or, possibly, a crypt located beneath the church, a likely place for the deposition of relics.

Place of event:

  • Gaul
  • Tours

About the source:

Author: Gregory of Tours
Title: The Miracles of the Martyr Julian, The Suffering and Miracles of the Martyr Saint Julian, De passione, virtutibus et gloria sancti Iuliani martyris, Virtutes sancti Iuliani
Origin: Tours (Gaul)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
It seems that Gregory of Tours (Gaul) started to collect the stories of Julian`s miraculous interventions and his sanctuary at Brioude since the very beginning of his ecclesiastical career. In the second chapter of "The Miracles of Saint Julian" (Virtutes sancti Iuliani), Gregory mentions his journey to Brioude while still serving as deacon in Lyon. This is not surprising, as Brioude lies just some sixty kilometres south of Gregory`s hometown, Clermont. Julian maintained his position as a very important saint to Gregory after his episcopal ordination. During Gregory`s episcopate, Julian`s relics were brought to Tours and a basilica was built there in his name. By cross-reference, Raymond Van Dam proved that Gregory had finished his book on Julian`s miracles in the early 580s (Van Dam 1993: 162-163).
Recently, Giselle de Nie proposed a new edition of "The Miracles" which combines the earlier editions by Ruinart, Bordier, and Krusch. She normalised the spelling and punctuation, and provided a new translation "that stays as close as possible to the author`s train of thought" (de Nie 2015: xxv).
Gregory of Tours, Lives and Miracles, ed. and trans. G. de Nie, Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library 39, Cambridge, MA and London 2015, pp. 299-419.
Gregory of Tours, The Suffering and Miracles of the Martyr St. Julian, trans. R. Van Dam, in: R. Van Dam, Saints and their Miracles in Late Antique Gaul, Princeton 1993, pp. 162-195.


Described by a title - Clericus
Monastic or common life - Cenobitic monk
Monastic or common life - Monastic superior (abbot/prior)
Ritual activity - Eucharist
Ritual activity - Divine office/Liturgy of the hours
Ecclesiastical administration - Construction/Renovation
Ritual activity - Dedication of churches and altars
Devotion - Veneration of saints and relics
Devotion - Vigils
Devotion - Supernatural experience
Ritual activity - Chanting
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1978,