Caesarius of Arles

For others with this name, see Caesarius.

Saint Caesarius of Arles (Latin: Caesarius Arelatensis; 468/470 – 27 August 542 AD), sometimes called "of Chalon" (Cabillonensis or Cabellinensis) from his birthplace Chalon-sur-Saône, was the foremost ecclesiastic of his generation in Merovingian Gaul.[1][2][3] Caesarius is considered to be of the last generation of church leaders of Gaul that worked to promote large-scale ascetic elements into the Western Christian tradition.[2] William E. Klingshirn's study of Caesarius depicts Caesarius as having the reputation of a "popular preacher of great fervour and enduring influence".[4] Among those who exercised the greatest influence on Caesarius were Augustine of Hippo, Julianus Pomerius, and John Cassian.

Saint Caesarius of Arles
Césaire d'Arles retable de la cathédrale Saint-Siffrein de Carpentras
Caesarius of Arles (retable, Carpentras Cathedral)
Bishop and Church Father
Born468 470 AD
Chalon-sur-Saône, Western Roman Empire
Died27 August 542 AD
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
FeastAugust 27


Le concile d'Agde en 506
Map of participants of the Council of Agde in 506 AD, presided by Caesarius. ‹See Tfd›(in French)

Caesarius was born at what is now Chalon-sur-Saône, to Roman-Burgundian parents in the last years of the Western Empire. His sister, Caesaria, to whom he addressed his "Regula ad Virgines" (Rule for Virgins), also presided over the convent he had founded. At the time of his birth, Germanic kings de facto governed Burgundy despite nominal Roman administration. Unlike his parents, Caesarius was born with a very strong and intense feeling for religion which alienated him from his family for the majority of his adolescence. Caesarius left home at seventeen and studied under Bishop Sylvester for a few years. Afterwards, he found his way to Lérins (Lerinum), an island monastery, which was known to be a major dynamo for creative forces of work in the Church of Roman Gaul.[5] After training as a monk at Lérins he devoted himself to reading and applying the scripture in hopes of improving the quality and organization of Christian life and serving the poor. He rapidly became master of all the learning and discipline the monastery communicated and was appointed cellarer. However, he proved unpopular at Lérins when, as cellarer of the monastery, he withheld food from monks because he felt they were insufficiently austere. As a result, the abbot Porcarius removed Caesarius from his post, whereupon he began starving himself; the abbot intervened and sent Caesarius to Arles ostensibly for medical care. After living at Lérins for over a decade and his health steadily decreasing from monastic over-exertion, Caesarius sought out a different clerical Christian community in Arles.

The Christian community he joined fostered him back to health and he was soon popularly elected as their bishop. By middle age, he had “become and was to remain the leading ecclesiastical statesman and spiritual force of his age”.[6] His concern for the poor and sick was famous throughout and beyond Gaul as he regularly provided ransom for prisoners and aided the sick and the poor. Upon arriving in the city, the Vita Caesarii claims that Caesarius discovered, completely to his surprise, that the bishop of Arles - Aeonius - was a kinsman from Chalon (concivis pariter et propinquus - "at once a fellow citizen and a relative"). Aeonius later ordained his young relative deacon and then presbyter. For three years he presided over a monastery in Arles; but of this building no vestige is now left.

At the death of Aeonius the clergy, citizens, and persons in authority proceeded, as Aeonius himself had suggested, to elect Caesarius to the vacant seat, although Klingshirn suggests that there may have been considerable local hostility, that Caesarius' election may have been heavily disputed and that another cleric, Iohannes, who appears in the episcopal fasti of Arles may have been elected bishop. Caesarius was consecrated in 502, being probably about 33 years of age. In the fulfilment of his new duties he was courageous and unworldly, but yet exhibited great power of kindly adaptation. He took great pains to induce the laity to join in the sacred offices, and encouraged inquiry into points not made clear in his sermons. He also ordered the people to study Holy Scripture at home, and treat the word of God with the same reverence as the sacraments. He was specially zealous in redeeming captives, even selling church ornaments for this purpose.

As bishop, Caesarius lived in a political world whose main theme was competition for Southern Gallic control among the Visigothic, Ostrogothic and Frankish kingdoms which led him to the constant ransoming of victims during these wars. The aftermath of war in 507/508 between the Burgundians and Franks and Visigothic and Ostrogothic kingdoms was devastating to its citizens. Peasants had no food supply and were in danger of enslavement, exile and death. Although Caesarius saved and ransomed many countryside citizens, his actions in redeeming captives was quite controversial. Although he ransomed many peasants of his country, he also ransomed numerous barbarians and enemies of the city. He defended himself by stating that barbarians were human beings and therefore had the potential to enter the City of God.[2]

A notary named Licinianus denounced Caesarius to Alaric II as one who desired to subjugate the civitas of Arles to Burgundian rule. Caesarius was exiled to Bordeaux, but on the discovery of his innocence, was speedily allowed to return. He interceded for the life of his calumniator. Later, when Arles was besieged by Theodoric around the year 512, he was again accused of treachery and imprisoned. An interview with the Ostrogothic king at Ravenna the next year speedily dispelled these troubles, and the remainder of his episcopate was passed in peace.

Some rivalry appears to have existed in the sixth century between the sees of Arles and Vienne, but was adjusted by Pope Leo, whose adjustment was confirmed by Pope Symmachus. Caesarius was in favour at Rome. A book he wrote against the semi-Pelagians, entitled de Gratiâ et Libero Arbitrio, was sanctioned by Pope Felix IV; and the canons passed at Orange were approved by Pope Boniface II. The learned antiquary Louis Thomassin believed him to have been the first Western bishop who received a pall from the pope. François Guizot in Civilisation en France cites part of one of Caesarius' sermons as that of a representative man of his age; while August Neander eulogizes his "unwearied, active, and pious zeal, ready for every sacrifice in the spirit of love," and his moderation on the controversy concerning semi-Pelagianism.

However, throughout all this turmoil, unlike Boethius, another Christian philosopher of the 6th century, he was never charged with being a covert supporter of a revived Roman Empire. The old Roman political order seemed to have little significance to Caesarius who instead directed his attitude to reflecting and accepting Christian pragmatism.

Religious beginnings

According to William Klingshirn, "Caesarius also has the reputation of being the faithful champion of Augustine of Hippo in the early middle ages. Thus Augustine's writings are seen to have profoundly shaped Caesarius' vision of human community, both inside and outside the cloister; and Caesarius' prowess as a popular preacher is understood to follow from his close attention to the example of the bishop of Hippo.[7] Caesarius was also highly influenced by his teacher, Julianus Pomerius. Pomerius had been inspired by the life of Augustine of Hippo too and insisted that bishops and members of the clergy live more like monks as opposed to aristocrats. This meant that any luxurious behaviour, such as participating in bountiful banquets, enlarging estates and enjoying “secular” learning, was condemned. Instead Pomerius urged bishops to give away all their riches and personal wealth as well as dress and eat simply. Caesarius's monasticism led him to the movement of church reform and he became one of its most influential spokesman.[8] According to many of his testaments he stayed true to the teachings of Pomerius and Augustine by rejecting secular learning, shunning comfortable living and organizing his clergy into monastic living.

It is important to realize that Christianization in the late Roman and Early Medieval West was a slow, inconsistent and incomplete social and religious change. It required the building of churches, conversion of elites and a widespread adoption of Christian self-identity with a system of Christian values, practices and beliefs. The church was constantly struggling against the survival of superstitions and pagan practices that were widely common among communities and common folk.[9] However, it was only with the consent and participation of local populations that these religious changes were able to take effect. Therefore, as Klingshirn so carefully puts it, this process was reciprocal. Although the elites and theologians implemented all of the goals and strategies, it was up to the peasants and townspeople of local communities to accept these practices.

The directions of Caesarius for the conduct of monks and nuns have been censured as pedantic and minute, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia. They certainly yielded to the spread of the rising Benedictine rule, but must be judged by their age and in the light of the whole spirit of monasticism.

The most important local council over which Caesarius presided was that of Orange (529). Its statements on the subject of grace and free agency have been eulogized by modern historians (see, e.g., Canon Bright, Church History, ch. xi. ad fin.). The following propositions are laid down in the Council of Orange's canon 25:

"This also do we believe, in accordance with the Catholic faith, that after grace received through baptism, all the baptized are able and ought, with the aid and co-operation of Christ, to fulfil all duties needful for salvation, provided they are willing to labour faithfully. But that some men have been predestinated to evil by divine power, we not only do not believe, but if there be those who are willing to believe so evil a thing, we say to them with all abhorrence anathema. This also do we profess and believe to our soul's health, that in every good work, it is not we who begin, and are afterwards assisted by Divine mercy, but that God Himself, with no preceding merits on our part, first inspires within us faith and love."

On the express ground that these doctrines are as needful for the laity as for the clergy, certain distinguished laymen (illustres ac magnifici viri) were invited to sign these canons. They are accordingly subscribed by eight laymen, and at least twelve bishops, including Caesarius.

Provincial council, probably representing the condemnation of the bishop Contumeliosus, sixth from the left

The Council of Orange in 529 was said to have condemned "the teaching of grace that predominated in southern Gaul in favor of a modified Augustinian position."[10]

As a preacher, Caesarius displayed great knowledge of Scripture, and was eminently practical in his exhortations. Besides reproving ordinary vices of humanity, he had often to contend against lingering pagan practices, as auguries, or heathen rites on the calends. His sermons on the Old Testament are not critical, but dwell on its typical aspects.

Several volumes of his sermons have been published in Sources Chrétiennes.

Writings and teachings

Caesarius has over 250 surviving sermons in his corpus. His sermons reveal him as a pastor dedicated to the formation of the clergy and the moral education of the laity. He preached on Christian beliefs, values, and practices against pagan syncretism. He emphasizes the life of a Christian as well as the love of God, reading the scriptures, asceticism, psalmody, love for one's neighbour, and the judgement that would come.[11]

Through Pomerius's teachings, it is logical to conclude that many of Caesarius' homilies and writings were influenced greatly by St. Augustine. Caesarius' writings were known to be adapted as he reworked many other philosophers' introductions and conclusions, especially those of St. Augustine.[12] Many of his writings and sermons, including the popular Vita Caesarii, were ordered to be written in French, German, Italian, and Hispanic. Caesarius did not believe that his readings and sermons should be restricted to the clergy. He did not just address the upper class and elite but instead preached to many literate and near-literate bishops, abbots, parish priests, and monks. He encouraged the clergy to read to both themselves and others. He targeted the illiterate and ask that they hire others to read to them after church in order to absorb the divine lessons. Caesarius encouraged reading divine lessons both at church and in their homes, at night and during the day, alone and with family.[13]

More than just learning and understanding the lessons, Caesarius emphasized that a “believer who does not share what he has learned, is not achieving what God intended".[14] Therefore, the believer is given a large responsibility as the lectio (divine reading) is God and therefore he should not be denied access to what belongs to Him. Caesarius believed that Christian People were God's new "elect" and he idealized incorporating men of places from all over the world into a believing, peaceful, and loving human community. This belief parallels Augustinian work as St. Augustine often referred to the populus christianus which can be translated as the Christian People. Revelation tells that God made a covenant with the populus christianus and the Christian epoch was predicted in all of the scriptures.[15]

Scholars have remarked on two aspects of Caesarius's teaching and activity that deserve considerable attention. The first aspect deals with Caesarius who was stated to be “the creative leader who arranged at the Council of Orange in 529 a resolution of the century of disputes about grace and ‘good works’ which followed St. Augustine's death.[16]

Council of Orange, 529

The Council of Orange in 529 was one of the most important local councils over which Caesarius presided. Its statements on the subject of grace and free agency have been eulogized by modern historians (see, e.g., Canon Bright, Church History, ch. xi. ad fin.). The following propositions are laid down in the Council of Orange's canon 25:

"This also do we believe, in accordance with the Catholic faith, that after grace received through baptism, all the baptized are able and ought, with the aid and co-operation of Christ, to fulfil all duties needful for salvation, provided they are willing to labour faithfully. But that some men have been predestinated to evil by divine power, we not only do not believe, but if there be those who are willing to believe so evil a thing, we say to them with all abhorrence anathema. This also do we profess and believe to our soul's health, that in every good work, it is not we who begin, and are afterwards assisted by Divine mercy, but that God Himself, with no preceding merits on our part, first inspires within us faith and love."

On the express ground that these doctrines are as needful for the laity as for the clergy, certain distinguished laymen (illustres ac magnifici viri) were invited to sign these canons. They are accordingly subscribed by eight laymen, and at least twelve bishops, including Caesarius.


The second aspect of Caesarius's teaching that deserves attention is his sermons. As mentioned previously, his corpus consists of over 250 surviving sermons.[17] Caesarius was determined to edit, shorten, and simplify his sermons in order to make them more effective and available to the existing patristic tradition. About 1/3 of his sermons are efforts of this sort. His works travelled to all parts of the Christian West, spreading his medieval sermon tradition and its topics of Christian love, the meaning of the last Judgment, the rights of the poor and the notion of Christianity. His writings were used by monks in Germany, repeated in Anglo-Saxon poetry and turned up in the important works of Gatianus of Tours and Thomas Aquinas.[18]

In DelCogliano's article, he mentions two other historians who studied and presented new critical texts of Caesarius's sermons. The two historians, Courreau and Vogüé, noted that although Caesarius's monastic sermons contain their own perspective and emphasis, his teachings are largely consistent throughout all of his sermons. Certain recurring themes include the expectations of monks in the monastery (i.e., important to attain Christian salvation within the safe haven of a monastery with the help of God) as well as being assisted on this Christian journey by fellow brothers who must offer mutual support. Caesarius, unlike other monks like Anthony the Great, did not believe in solitude in order to be blessed with the Grace of God; instead he emphasized brothers living amongst each other and providing edification and a good example to one another.

Work for women

Caesarius’ Regula virginum (512), also known as the Rule for Virgins, is the first western rule written exclusively for women. In this text, Caesarius argues for the practice of claustration, the complete containment of women in the monastery from their entry until death. Caesarius also created a strict regime for women in the monasteries to adhere to, specifying times for prayer, limits on earthly luxuries such as fine clothes and elaborate decoration, and standards of modesty and piety.[19] Caesarius begins the "Rule" by prefacing that the virgins for which he was writing this rule were the "gems of the Church" as they, "with God's help, evade the jaws of spiritual wolves."[20] He also composed a letter of guidance, Vereor, for the women of his religious community in its early stages.[21] As mentioned earlier, Caesarius was captured and later returned from Bordeaux. After he returned he began to build a monastery for women outside of Arles. The monastery was built for a group of ascetic women living under the spiritual direction of his sister, Caesaria.[22] It can be assumed that most of the women entering the monastery were from elite families, as there were strict provisions in "Regula Virginum" against having servants, luxurious clothes, and excessive decoration. There had been no monastery for women in Arles which allowed Caesarius, possibly in the imitation of Augustine, to provide women with an equal opportunity for a monastic life. Caesarius viewed the women in the monastery as having a religious advantage in being separated from the anxieties and responsibilities of daily life in the city, as they were able to devote themselves to a life of piety:

“And therefore I ask you, oh sacred virgins and souls dedicated to God, who with you lamps shining await with clear conscience the coming of the Lord, that, because you know that I labored to establish a monastery for you, you with your prayers might ask that I be made a companion on your journey; and that, when you shall enter joyfully into the kingdom with the wise and holy virgins, you might obtain by your plea that I not remain outside with the foolish ones.” [23]

It was Caesarius's goal to attain security of his place both among the Church elites of Gaul as well as in heaven through the creation of the monastery. By creating the monastery and writing the Rule, Caesarius was able to make for himself a place among the great Church thinkers of Late Antique Gaul. Simultaneously, through the intercession of the women in the monastery praying for him, Caesarius believed he could confirm his place in heaven after death.


Reliquary Caesarius of Arles Saint-Trophime Arles
19th-century reliquary of St Caesarius, Church of St. Trophime in Arles

As the occupant of an important see, the bishop of Arles exercised considerable official, as well as personal, influence. Caesarius was liberal in the loan of sermons, and sent suggestions for discourses to priests and even bishops living in Spain, Italy, and elsewhere in Gaul. The great doctrinal question of his age and country was that of semi-Pelagianism. Caesarius, though evidently a disciple of St. Augustine, displayed in this respect considerable independence of thought. His vigorous denial of anything like predestination to evil has caused a difference in the honour paid to his memory, according as writers incline respectively towards the Jesuit or Jansenist views concerning divine grace.

In Daly's article on Caesarius of Arles, he suggested that Caesarius in many ways may have anticipated the medieval notion of Christendom. His concern for others, redemption of captives and establishing bonds of peace, have been seen as a function of ‘his basic theology of love’. Unlike St. Augustine, who was a supporter and founder of the theology of Christian love, Caesarius stressed the clarification and integration of implications for spiritual activism. Caesarius promoted that God put the exercise of love in every man's reach. Klingshirn backs up this statement in his article when he describes how Caesarius was concerned with the barbarians and enemies of Arles as they were still within the City of God and therefore deserved redemption.

According to the previously mentioned scholars and historians who have written on Caesarius such as Arbesmann, Daly, DelCogliano, Ferreiro and Klingshirn, Caesarius lived through an era full of many societal shifts. Historians have stated that Caesarius was caught up in its early stages and lacked historical “hindsight and perspective” to this era. However, he witnessed and understood the beginning of the vast societal shifts which surrounded him and intentionally set out to shape this process. This was an influential stance as it has been said that the displacement of Roman by European civilization was a long-lasting, complex, and mystifying process[24] Caesarius dreamed and saw an “expanding, world-embracing, world-uniting society”.[25] Caesarius emphasized and spread his treatise and beliefs of patristic tradition to men and women around Arles and surrounding cities. This recognizable social model occurred in a time where social communities were disappearing. Caesarius helped to foresee the institutional shapes of medieval Christendom and may have helped create it with his ideas circulating for a millennium in the medieval West.[26]


Saint's Life:


  • Sermons, ed. by German Morin, Corpus Christianorum Series Latina, vol. 103-104, Turnhout: Brepols 1953, English translation by Magdeleine Mueller, Caesarius of Arles, Sermons, 3 vols., Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America Press 1956-73 (The Fathers of the Church, vol. 31, 47, 66).
  • Rule for nuns, ed. by Adalbert de Vogüé and Joël Courreau, Sources Chrétiennes, vol. 345, Paris: Cerf 1988, pp. 170–272, English translation by Maria Caritas McCarthy, Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America Press 1960.
  • Rule for monks, ed. by Adalbert de Vogüé and Joël Courreau, Sources Chrétiennes, vol. 398, Paris: Cerf 1994, pp. 204–226 (not yet translated into English).
  • Testament, ed. by Joël Courreau and Adalbert de Vogüé, SC 345, pp. 360–396, English translation in Klingshirn, Caesarius of Arles: Life, Testament, Letters, pp. 71–76.
  • Letters, transl. by William E. Klingshirn, Caesarius of Arles: Life, Testament, Letters, Liverpool 1994 (Translated Texts for Historians, vol. 19).

Other sources:

  • Acts of Councils in Gaul, in Concilia Galliae, vol. 2: a. 511-a. 695, ed. by Charles de Clercq, Corpus Christianorum Series Latina, vol. 148a, Turnhout: Brepols 1963 (not translated into English).



  • Klingshirn, William E., Caesarius of Arles: The Making of a Christian Community in Late antique Gaul (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994).
  • Malnory, Arthur, St. Césaire, évêque d'Arles (Paris, 1894)
  • Arnold, Carl Franklin, Caesarius von Arelate und die gallische Kirche seiner Zeit (Leipzig, 1894).

Other studies:

  • Arbesmann, Rudolph. 1979. "The "cervuli" and "anniculae" in Caesarius of Arles." Traditio: Studies in Ancient and Medieval History, Thought, and Religion 35: 89-119.
  • Daly, William M. 1970. "Caesarius of Arles a precursor of medieval Christendom." Traditio: Studies in Ancient and Medieval History, Thought, and Religion 26: 1-28.
  • Delcogliano, Mark. 2006. "Caesarius of Arles: On living in the community." Cistercian Studies Quarterly 41: 17-30.
  • Diem, Albrecht, ‘ ...ut si professus fuerit se omnia impleturum, tunc excipiatur. Observations on the Rules for Monks and Nuns of Caesarius and Aurelianus of Arles’, in: Victoria Zimmerl-Panagl, Lukas J. Dorfbauer and Clemens Weidmann (eds.), Edition und Erforschung lateinischer patristischer Texte. 150 Jahre CSEL. Festschrift für Kurt Smolak zum 70. Geburtstag, Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter 2014, pp. 191–224.
  • Ferreiro, Alberto. 1992. ""Frequenter legere": the propagation of literacy, education, and Divine Wisdom in Caesarius of Arles." Journal of Ecclesiastical History 43: 5-15. A discussion of his homilies.
  • Klingshirn, William E. Caesarius of Arles: Life, Testament, Letters. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1994.
  • Klingshirn, William E. "Charity and Power: Caesarius of Arles and the Ransoming of Captives in Sub-Roman Gaul;" Journal of Roman Studies 75 (1985): 183-203.
  • Leyser, Conrad Authority and Asceticism from Augustine to Gregory the Great (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000).
  • Markus, Robert Austin, The End of Ancient Christianity, (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1990).
  • Rudge, Lindsay. "Texts and Contexts: Women's Dedicated Life from Caesarius to Benedict." PhD diss., University of St. Andrews, 2006.

See also


  1. ^ Arthur Malnory, Saint Cesaire Évêque d'Arles (503-543), 1894 (présentation en ligne) Éditions: G. Morin, Corp. christ. 103-104 (1953). Traductions françaises : A. de Vogüé - J. Courreau, Sources chrétiennes 345 (1988, * Œuvres monastiques, M.-J. Delage, Sources chrétiennes 175, 243 (1971, 1978, Sermons au peuple).
  2. ^ a b c William E. Klingshirn: Caesarius of Arles : The Making of a Christian Community in Late Antique Gaul, Cambridge University Press, 1994).
  3. ^ Césaire d'Arles et la christianisation de la Provence, Actes des journées « Césaire » (3-5 novembre 1988, 22 avril 1989), par D. Bertrand, M.-J. Delage, P.-. Février, J. Guyon, A. de Vogüé, Éditions du Cerf, 1994
  4. ^ Conrad Leyser, "Authority and Asceticism from Augustine to Gregory the Great"
  5. ^ William Daly, "Caesarius of Arles a precursor of medieval Christendom," Traditio: Studies in Ancient and Medieval History, Thought, and Religion 26 (1970): 6
  6. ^ Daly,Caesarius of Arles, 5
  7. ^ Authority and Asceticism from Augustine to Gregory the Great, Conrad Leyser, 1
  8. ^ William Klingshirn, Caesarius of Arles: Life, Testaments, Letters (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1994), xv
  9. ^ Rudolph, Arbesmann. "The "cervuli" and "anniculae" in Caesarius of Arles," Traditio: Studies in Ancient and Medieval History, Thought, and Religion 35, (1979): 101
  10. ^ Mark DelCogliano, "Caesarius of Arles: On living in the community," Cistercian Studies Quarterly 41:1, (2006): 19
  11. ^ DelCogliano, Caesarius, 20
  12. ^ Alberto Ferreiro, ""Frequenter legere": the propagation of literacy, education, and Divine Wisdom in Caesarius of Arles," Journal of Ecclesiastical History 43:1 (1992): 6
  13. ^ Ferreiro, "Frequenter legere", 8
  14. ^ Ferreiro, Divine Wisdom in Caesarius of Arles, 12
  15. ^ Daly, Caesarius of Arles, 17
  16. ^ ^ Daly, Caesarius of Arles, 7
  17. ^ ^ Caesarius of Arles Sermons Translated by Mary Magdalene Mueller, Catholic University of America Press (1964)
  18. ^ ^ Daly, Caesarius of Arles, 9
  19. ^ Conrad Leyser, "Authority and Asceticism from Augustine to Gregory the Great"
  20. ^ The Rule for Nuns of St. Caesarius of Arles, 222.
  21. ^ Lindsay Rudge, "Texts and Contexts: Women's Dedicated Life From Caesarius to Benedict" (PhD., University of St. Andrew, 2006)
  22. ^ Klingshirn, "Caesarius of Arles", 105
  23. ^ "The Rule for Nuns of St. Caesarius of Arles", 221
  24. ^ Klingshirn, "Caesarius of Arles", xvi
  25. ^ Daly, Life, Testaments, Letters, 26
  26. ^ Daly, Caesarius of Arles, 28

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainWace, Henry; Piercy, William C. (eds.). "Caesarius, bishop of Arles" . Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century (3rd ed.). London: John Murray.

External links


Agroecius (or Agroetius) was the name of a number of men from Roman history, most of them distinguished Gauls:

Agroecius, an Armenian student of the Roman rhetorician Libanius in the 4th century, who was apparently very close to the teacher, who wrote that Agroecius was "no different from a son to me." He was quite poor, and had five sisters in need of husbands, and was possibly the brother of another student of Libanius named Eusebius.

Agroecius, captured and executed with Decimus Rusticus in 413 by the forces of the Roman emperor Honorius.

Agroecius, a wealthy man, probably not clergy, who contributed money for a new church at Narbo when Rusticus of Narbonne was bishop there. He is known only from an inscription on the building dated to 445 (the building itself was started in 441), although he may be the same person as the grammarian Agroecius below.

Agroecius, bishop of Sens, a grammarian who was the author of an extant grammatical work, De Orthographia et Differentia Sermonis.

Agroecius, bishop of Antibes, was the addressee of one of the letters of Caesarius of Arles.

Agroecius Domesticus, a man of uncertain date who died at the age of 33, and was buried in Vienne.

Agroecius (Bishop of Antibes)

Agroecius was a 6th-century bishop of Antibes, and the addressee of one of the extant letters of the ecclesiastic Caesarius of Arles.

As one of the most senior bishops in the province, he was the subject of some discussion at the Council of Carpentras in 527, as it was said he had ordained a cleric named Protadius who had not first undergone the required year of probation (conversus) as dictated by the Council of Arles (524). Agroecius did not attend the council, but was defended by the priest Catafronius in his stead. Nevertheless, it was determined that he should be censured, and he was forbidden from saying mass for one year. Although Catafronius agreed to the terms of this punishment, Agroecius apparently ignored them, and continued to say mass. As he felt his authority flouted, Caesarius appealed to Pope Felix IV, who issued an edict reconfirming the requirement of the probationary period. Whether Agroecius paid any attention to this is unknown, although he did not appear at any of the subsequent church councils, and by the Fourth Council of Orléans in 541, Agroecius was no longer bishop of Antibes.

Aurelianus of Arles

Aurelianus (523 – 551) was Archbishop of Arles from 546 to 551. His predecessors were Auxanius (bishop form 542-546) and Caesarius of Arles (d. 542). His father Sacerdos (d. 552) was an Archbishop of Lyon. His cousin Nicetius (d. 573) succeeded his father as Archbishop of Lyon. He died on 16 June 551 in Lyon and is buried in the Church of Saint-Nizier. The text of his epitaph is preserved.


Caesarius may refer to:

Caesarius of Africa, 3rd-century Christian

Caesarius of Nazianzus, physician and politician of the 4th century, and the younger brother of Gregory of Nazianzus

Caesarius (consul), Eastern-Roman politician, twice Praetorian prefect of the East, Consul in 398 and Patricius.

Caesarius of Arles, 5th-century ecclesiastic in Gaul

Caesarius of Heisterbach, 13th-century Christian

Caesarius, power metal band from Russia

Charismatic Episcopal Church

The Charismatic Episcopal Church, more officially known as the International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church (ICCEC), is an international Christian denomination established as an autocephalous communion in 1992. The ICCEC states that it is not a splinter group of any other denomination or communion, but is a convergence of the sacramental, evangelical, and charismatic traditions that it perceives in the church from the apostolic era until present times.

The founders of the ICCEC drew inspiration from a diverse group of 20th century Christian church leaders and thinkers, particularly Alexander Schmemann (Orthodox, Russian diaspora), Lesslie Newbigin (Church of South India), Robert E. Webber (Anglican), Robert Jenson (Lutheran), and Thomas Oden (United Methodist); from the patristic fathers of the undivided Christian East and West; and from the doctrine and life of the early medieval priest-monks and bishops of Ireland, Scotland, England, and Gaul (represented by Caesarius of Arles, Columba of Iona, Aidan of Lindisfarne, Chad of Mercia, and Patrick), whom they saw as embodying a fatherly, sacramental, and Spirit-expectant leadership for their congregations.

The ICCEC's founding congregations were independent churches with roots in the Charismatic, Pentecostal, Wesleyan and Third Wave Evangelical movements. The ICCEC claims its apostolic succession via Timothy Michael Barker, the leader of the International Free Catholic Communion and the Rebiban line via the schismatic Roman Catholic bishop Carlos Duarte Costa, who founded the Catholic Apostolic National Church of Brazil.

The Charismatic Episcopal Church believes orthodoxy and orthopraxy to be the essence of the apostolic faith of the New Testament Church and holds the ancient Apostles' and Nicene Creeds as their official doctrinal statements. The ICCEC is not, nor has it ever been, affiliated with the Episcopal Church (ECUSA). The word episcopal is used to describe its hierarchy of bishops (see table). Many churches in the ICCEC, however, claim an Anglican identity and many use the American Book of Common Prayer (1979). A new sacramentary, now in broad trial use, contains modified Roman, Anglican, and Eastern rites.

Pentecostal scholar H. Vinson Synan reports that the ICCEC is the first church emerging from the Pentecostal-Charismatic revivals of the last century to use the term "Charismatic" in its official name.

Contumeliosus of Riez

In 534 Pope John II deposed the adulterous Bishop Contumeliosus of Riez (in Gaul), and authorized Caesarius of Arles to appoint a temporary bishop to the diocese. This is notable for being the first act of jurisdiction of this kind recorded of a bishop of Rome.

Contumeliosus was the bishop of Riez in Gaul, and a sufficiently learned man that Bishop Avitus of Vienne forwarded to him some of his works for editing. Contumeliosus was subsequently accused of adultery and alienation of church property. At a Council of Marseilles, convened in 533 by Caesarius, Metropolitan Archbishop of Arles, Contumeliosus admitted to the charges, and was subsequently deposed. Archbishop Caesarius then wrote Pope John II regarding the disposition of the case.In 534 Pope John, wrote to Caesarius, to the bishops of Gaul, and to the clergy of Riez, directing the guilty bishop be confined to a monastery where he might perform an appropriate penance. No time period was apparently specified. John's successor Pope Agapetus I accepted an appeal from Contumeliosus, and he ordered Caesarius of Arles to grant the accused a new trial before papal delegates. Agapetus charged Caesarius with cruelty and injustice in his proceedings against Contumeliosus, although he had acted in accord with Gallican usage and had defended the discipline of the Church. Of two surviving letters of John to Caesarius, both dated 18 July 535, one is about the dispute over Contumeliosus (Mansi, viii. p. 856).

Council of Agde

The Council of Agde was a regional synod held in September 506 at Agatha or Agde, on the Mediterranean coast east of Narbonne, in the Septimania region of the Visigothic Kingdom, with the permission of the Visigothic King Alaric II.The Council met under the presidency of Bishop Caesarius of Arles. It was attended by 35 bishops:

The Council of Agde promulgated 47 canons on ecclesiastical discipline. In general, its canons shed light on the moral conditions of the clergy and laity in the historical region of Septimania at the beginning of the transition from Roman social order within the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis to that of the Visigoth migrants. They are also of some importance for the study of certain early ecclesiastical institutions.

Its canon 7, forbidding ecclesiastics to sell or alienate the property of the church from which they drew their living, seems to be the earliest indication of the later system of benefices. In Canon IX, the Council ruled that if married deacons or priests wish to return to marital relations, they should be deprived of all of their ecclesiastical dignities and offices; those, however, who were unaware of the prohibition, could be allowed to retain their office if they abstain in the future. In Canon X, a cleric was forbidden to visit women to whom he was not related, and could have in his house only his mother, sister, daughter, or niece. A bishop was not to ordain anyone a deacon who was not twenty-five years old. In order to be ordained a priest or bishop, one had to be at least thirty years of age. If a young married man wished to be ordained, he required the consent of his wife (Canon XVI).

Marriage between cousins was also forbidden.

Council of Orange (529)

The Second Council of Orange (or Second Synod of Orange) was held in 529 at Orange, which was then part of the Ostrogothic Kingdom. It affirmed much of the theology of Augustine of Hippo, and made numerous proclamations against what later would come to be known as semi-Pelagian doctrine.

Cyprian of Toulon

Saint Cyprian of Toulon (Cyprianus Tolonensis) (476 – October 3, 546) was bishop of Toulon during the 6th century. Born at Marseilles, he was the favorite pupil of St. Caesarius of Arles by whom he was trained. Caesarius ordained him in 506 to the diaconate, and, in 516, consecrated him as bishop of Toulon.

St. Cyprian appears to have been present in 524 at the synod of Arles and in the following years to have attended a number of councils. At all these assemblies he showed himself a vigorous opponent of Semipelagianism.

He said to have converted to Catholicism two Visigoth chiefs, Mandrier and Flavian, who became anchorites and martyrs on the peninsula of Mandrier.

Soon after the death of Caesarius (d. 543) Cyprian wrote a life of his great teacher in two books, being moved to the undertaking by the entreaty of the Abbess Caesaria the Younger, who had been the head of the convent at Arles since 529. The life is one of the most valuable biographical remains of the sixth century. Cyprian was aided in his task by the two bishops, Firminus and Viventius, friends of Caesarius, as well as by the priest Messianus and the deacon Stephen. The main part of the work up to the fortieth chapter of the first book was most probably written by Cyprian himself. In 1892 the Monumenta Germaniae Historica series published another writing of his, a letter to the Bishop St Maximus of Geneva, which discusses some of the disputed theological questions of that age (Wilhelm Gundlach & Ernst Dümmler (edd.), Epistolae Merowingici et Karolini aevi (I), 1892 (= Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Epistolae (Quart), t. III), pp. 434-436).

The biography was edited by d'Achery and Mabillon in the Acta Sanctorum Ord. S. Benedicti, Venice 1733, vol. i. p. 636ff, also in the Bollandists' Acta Sanctorum under date of Aug. 27). A modern English translation is W.E. Klingshirn, Caesarius of Arles: Life, Testament, Letters. Translated Texts for Historians, 19 (Liverpool, 1994).

The feast of St. Cyprian falls on 3 October.

De correctione rusticorum

De correctione rusticorum ('on the correction of rural people'), also known as Pro castigatione rusticorum ('for the castigation of rural people') is a letter by Saint Martin of Braga (c. 520–580 CE), written in Gallaecia. The text begins with a letter from Martin to Bishop Polemius of Astorga, indicating that Polemius had asked Martin to write a piece on the origin of idols. Compared with Caesarius of Arles, Martin seems to take a gentler stance on how to accommodate non-Christian traditions in the course of missionary work in the region.

Epistle of Pseudo-Titus

The Epistle of Pseudo-Titus is a letter attributed to Titus, a companion of Paul of Tarsus, to an unidentified ascetic community of Christian men and women. It commends the life of chastity and condemns all sexual activity, even that within marriage, as sinful. The epistle is classified under the Apocryphal New Testament and survives only in the Codex Burchardi, an eighth-century Latin manuscript, discovered in 1896 among the homilies of Caesarius of Arles. The Latin epistle contains many solecisms which originated with an author who lacked proficiency with Latin and Greek. The origins of the epistle remain unclear, however, it contains strong features of encratism. It may have connections with the Priscillianist movement in fifth century Spain.

Florentius of Orange

Saint Florentius of Orange (French: Florent d'Orange) was bishop of the city of Orange in France around 517-524. Recognized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, his feast day is on 17 October.

He was known for his generosity and for various miracles.He was Bishop of Orange during the capture of the city by the Ostrogoths and was deported with its inhabitants to Fiorenzuola d'Arda near Piacenza, of which he is now the patron saint. He was released thanks to the intervention of the bishop Caesarius of Arles, who interceded on his behalf with the king Theodoric the Great.He died around the year 525.His relics are shared between Avignon Cathedral and Le Puy Cathedral, and the churches of Saint-Florent in Orange, Saint-Pierre-aux-Liens in Laussonne and the collegiate church of San Fiorenzo in Fiorenzuola.

Gallicanus I

Gallicanus I was the seventh bishop of Embrun. He was represented at the Fourth Council of Arles in 524, assisted in person at that of Carpentras in 527 (where he subscribed to the canons in order of seniority), and attended the Third Council of Vaison in 529. He was perhaps also at the Second Council of Orange in the same year. The councils of 524–29 were presided over by Caesarius of Arles.

Gratus of Oloron

Saint Gratus of Oloron (French: Grat d'Oloron; Catalan: Grat d'Auloron; also known, from his place of birth, as Grat de Lichos) (born 5th century; died after 506) was a bishop of Oloron venerated as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church.

He was born in the 5th century at Lichos, in the lower valley of the River Saison, into a Roman Catholic family.

During his youth Catholics were persecuted by the Arian Euric, king of the Visigoths (466-485). Euric's successor, Alaric II (485-507), was tolerant towards them, permitting among other things the creation of Catholic bishoprics, including that of Oloron, of which Gratus was the first bishop. He took part in the Council of Agde in 506, where 34 Catholic bishops of the Visigothic kingdom met under the chairmanship of Saint Caesarius of Arles.

In 507, the Visigoths were defeated by Clovis at the Battle of Vouillé. After the death of Clovis in 511, however, there was a still a strong Visigothic presence south of the Garonne (Aquitaine). Gratus is believed to have died at Jaca during this period, from where his body was retrieved and brought to its place of permanent rest in Oloron-Sainte-Marie.

His feast day is 11 October.

Maximianus of Trier

Maximianus of Trier was bishop of Trier around the turn of the 5th and 6th centuries.Bishop Maximianus, the predecessor of Fibicius who had taken over as bishop by 502, is apparently the bishop mentioned in a letter from Archbishop Avitus of Vienne to Caesarius of Arles, dated to the period 502-508, and certainly no later than 513, which is a letter of recommendation on behalf of a blinded bishop, described as "holy", who wanted to seek healing in Arles.This troubled period saw the inclusion of Trier in the sphere of the Rhine Franks based in Cologne and the flight of Count Arbogast in 485/486 to Chartres, as well as the victory of Clovis over the Alamanni in the Battle of Tolbiac in 496/497. The large number of bishops named around these years also points to disturbed times.

This bishop should not be confused with Saint Maximinus of Trier (d. c.346).

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Arles

The former French Catholic Archbishopric of Arles had its episcopal see in the city of Arles, in southern France.

Saint Caesarius

Saint Caesarius may refer to:

Saint Caesarius of Arles (6th-century bishop)

Saint Caesarius of Nazianzus (4th-century physician)

Saint Caesarius of Africa, also Saint Caesarius of Terracina (2nd-century martyr)


Scholastica (c. 480 – 10 February 543) is a saint of the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches. She is honored in the Episcopal Church's calendar of saints. She was born in Italy. According to a ninth century tradition, she was the twin sister of Benedict of Nursia. Her feast day is 10 February.


Vindemialis was Bishop of Orange from 527 to 549.

He attended, and probably hosted, the famous second Council of Orange on July 3, 529, that was chaired by Saint Caesarius of Arles.

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