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Saint Honoratus

Saint Honoratus (370-430), a Gallo-Roman aristocrat, was born in Trier, Germany, sometime around the year 370. It is to be noted that Trier, on the Moselle River, is the oldest city in Germany (from before 16 BC), and was once the capital of the Roman Empire.

Converting to Christianity around the age of 15, Honoratus soon left to visit the Holy places of Palestine, as well as the lavra of Egypt and Syria (hermit cells and caves clustered around a church), traveling back via Italy, and ending in the South of France, where he settled in a cave high up in the red rocks of the Estérel, along the coast: the Cap Roux .

Already famous, he was plagued by visitors, and escaped to a nearby island, the smallest of the two Lerins Islands (Iles de Lérins), in the bay of Cannes, France. Followers just tagged along, so he soon established a monastic community (around the year 404), and was made a priest by the bishop of Frejus.

By 427, what is now known as Saint Honorat Island (Ile Saint Honorat), was a thriving and very powerful abbey, with far reaching influence. So famous that, in 427, Honoratus is named archbishop of Arles , without him even knowing he was a candidate! He refused to go, but after months of being asked, pope Celestine I even stepping in, he relented, and thus spent the last two years of his life preaching daily in Arles.

In France, Saint Honoratus is celebrated on January 16th.

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