Saint of the Day – 7 October – Saint Augustus of Bourges (Died c 560) Priest and Abbot. He was miraculously cured of paralysis, with which he bas born, by the intercession of St Martin of Tours. Died in c 560 of natural causes. Also known as – Augustus of San Sinforiano, Augosto of….
The Roman Martyrolog states of him today: “Near Bourges in Aquitaine, France, Saint Augustus, Priest and Abbot, who had his hands and feet so contracted that he could not support himself except with his knees and elbows. He was healed through the intercession of St Martin of Tours. He gathered around himself some Monks and waited intently on prayer.”
Augustus was French, and lived in Bourges in the sixth century. His life and illness is known to us, with sufficient accuracy, from the pages of writers and above all from the artwork, which latter we have no access too online. In fact, St Gregory of Tours says that he was was paralysed from birth, in the feet and hands. To move, he dragged himself painfully on his elbows and knees.
But the infirmity of his limbs did not discourage him, nor hardened his heart and soul, which remained healthy and whole, as a Christian rich in devotion and goodwill.
Aided by the alms of the faithful, Augustus set out to build a Church dedicated to the great French Bishop, St Martin of Tours. In fact, he managed to accomplish this undertaking, which seemed so much superior to his strength.
When the construction of the Church was completed in Bourges, he had some precious relics of the titular saint brought there.
It is said that precisely because of the miraculous powers of these relics, the cripple, who had not surrendered to his infirmity, gained the use of his limbs. But he did not take the opportunity to leave but instead, Augustus stayed at the Church he had built, in a small monastic community. According to some hagiographic sources, he also had a mystical vision in which he learned of the location of the burial place of Saint Ursinus, the first Bishop of Bourges.
If as an infirm he had overcome the impairments of his shrunken body, healed, he knew how to subjugate the vigorous body. He refused his legs to vain movements, his hands to unworthy pursuits. He stood still and quiet, in prayer and penance.
The Bishop of the City Ordained Augustus as a Priest and also appointed him Abbot of the Monastery of St Sinforian and Augustus,, without abandoning his penitent Monks, wisely governed from there, both one and the other community. And in this task he died holy, it is believed around 560, in circumstances that we do not know.