Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 53
Presbyters in Langres (Gaul) ask their Bishop Gregory to bless demoniacs, ca 506/507. Account of Gregory of Tours, "Life of the Fathers", Tours (Gaul), ca 590.
Nam cum inergumini eum in primo die episcopatus sui confiterentur, rogabant eum presbiteri, ut eos bene dicere dignaretur.
(ed. Krusch 1885: 237)
The first day of his [bishop Gregory's] episcopate, when the possessed were confessing him, the presbyters prayed that he would deign to grant them [i.e. the demoniacs] his blessing.
(trans. James 1991: 44, slightly altered by J. Szafranowski)


It seems, then, that exorcism was an act that should be performed by bishops and not presbyters (cf. [185]).
Gregory was ordained bishop of Langres in either 506 or 507.

Place of event:

  • Gaul
  • Langres

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.


Functions within the Church - Urban presbyter
    Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
      Ritual activity - Exorcism
        Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
          Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER53,