The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Germanus

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GERMANUS (Fr. St. Germain l'Auxerrois), a saint of the Roman Catholic church, born in Auxerre, central Gaul, about 380, died in Ravenna, July 31, 448 or 449. He was of a senatorial family, studied literature and jurisprudence, and distinguished himself for eloquence. He was made by the emperor Honorius military governor of his native district, and in 418 was elected bishop of Auxerre, although a married man. He separated from his wife, gave his property to the poor, and built a monastery on the river Yonne. He twice visited England at the request of Celestine I., and by his authority the doctrines of Pelagius were condemned and suppressed there, and schools for the education of the clergy were opened. He once led the Britons against a party of Picts and Saxons who were plundering the coast, and terrified them into retreat by a general shout of “Hallelujah,” an action known under the name of the Hallelujah victory. He encouraged St. Patrick to undertake the conversion of the Irish, and in 447 went to Ravenna to mediate between the revolted Bretons and Valentinian III. His feast is celebrated on July 31. A manuscript preserved in the abbey of St. Gall, entitled Liber Sancti Ambrosii in Laudem Sanctorum compositus, is said by the Benedictine editors of St. Ambrose to have been probably written by St. Germanus. His life, written 30 years after his death by the priest Constantius, and put in verse by the monk Eric, is to be found in Labbe's Nova Bibliotheca Manuscriptorum. A new life of St. Germanus was given in vols. ix. and xi. of Newman's “Lives of the English Saints” (London, 1844).