Lupicinus, Desert-dweller of the Jura Mountains

March 3 is the Feast of Saint Lupicinus, Desert-dweller of the Jura Mountains
“Saint Lupicinus (c. 486) (also known as Lupicinus of Condat) was an Abbot and the Bishop of Lyon from 491 to 494. His brother was Saint Romanus of Condat. St. Lupicinus is noted for founding the abbeys of Saint-Claude in the Jura mountains and in the Lauconne districts of France. His successor was St. Rusticus, Archbishop of Lyon.”

“Saint Romanus, born in the late fourth century, left his relatives and spent some time in the monastery of Ainay at Lyons, near a large church at the point where the Saône and Rhone Rivers meet. The faithful had built it in honor of the famous martyrs of that region, whose ashes were thrown into the Rhone. His purpose for this retreat was to study all the practices of monastic life, and he obtained from the Abbot of Ainay some recently written books on the lives of the Desert Fathers.
At the age of thirty-five, Romanus retired into the forests of Mount Jura, between France and Switzerland, and fixed his abode at a place called Condate, near two rivers, where he found a plot of ground fit for culture, and some trees which furnished him with wild fruit. Here he spent his time praying, reading, and laboring for his survival. Lupicinus, his brother, came to him there, accompanied by several other disciples, who were followed by others, drawn there by the fame of the virtue and miracles of these two saints. When he was 54 years old, Romanus was ordained a priest by Saint Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers.
As they grew in number, the brothers built several monasteries, as well as a convent for their sister and other women, called La Baume. Before Saint Romanus died, there were already five hundred cloistered nuns. The nuns offered prayer and sacrifice and kept strict silence.

The two brothers governed the monks jointly and harmoniously, though they were of different dispositions; the gentleness of the first was balanced by the severity of the other, according to need. When a group of rebellious monks departed, Saint Romanus, by his patience and prayer, won them back, and if they departed a second or even a third time, received them with the same kindness. When Lupicinus, whose habits were very severe, criticized Romanus for his leniency, he replied that God alone knew the depths of hearts, and that among those who never departed, there were some whose fervor had declined, whereas some of those who returned after leaving even three times, were serving God with exemplary piety. He also explained that some who remained outside the monastery religiously practiced the rules they had learned in the monastery, even becoming priests. Saint Romanus died about the year 460, and Saint Lupicinus survived him for twenty years.”
life of the jura fathers
See further “The Life of the Jura Fathers: The Life and Rule of the Holy Fathers Romanus, Lupicinus, and Eugendus, Abbots of the Monasteries in the Jura Mountains, with appendices, Avitus of Vienne, Letter XVIII to Viventiolus, and Eucherius of Lyon, The Passion of the Martyrs of Agaune, Saint Maurice and His Companions, and In Praise of the Desert” Translated by Tim Vivian, Kim Vivian, and Jeffrey Burton Russell with the assistance of Charles Cummings, O.C.S.O. [Cistercian Studies Series, No. 178.] (Kalamazoo, Michigan: Cistercian Publications. 1999

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: