Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 103
Venantius, abbot and presbyter in Tours (Gaul), finds himself unable to celebrate Mass due to his problems with sight, and therefore reading, before 507. Account of Gregory of Tours, "Life of the Fathers", Tours (Gaul), ca 590.
Denique quadam dominica ad missarum celebranda solemnia invitatur, dixit que fratribus: 'Iam enim oculi mei caligine obteguntur, nec possum libellum aspicere. Presbitero enim haec alteri agenda mandate'.
(ed. Krusch 1885: 275)
One Sunday, invited to celebrate the sacrifice of the Mass, he [Venantius] said to the brothers, 'Already my eyes are covered by shadows, and I can no longer read the book. Ask another presbyter to do these things.'
(trans. James 1991: 101, slightly altered by J. Szafranowski)


The first possible terminus ante quem of Venantius' presbyterial activity is the year 507, when Licinius, who succeeded him in abbacy, became bishop of Tours. Thus Venantius was probably active in the last quarter of the 5th century.

Place of event:

  • Gaul
  • Tours

About the source:

Author: Gregory of Tours
Title: Life of the Fathers, Vita Patrum, Liber Vitae Patrum
Origin: Tours (Gaul)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Gregory of Tours (bishop of Tours in Gaul in 573-594) started writing his Life of the Fathers some time before 587 and finished it around 592 or slightly later, as shown by the cross-references to his other works.  It is a collection of twenty Gallic saints` lives of different lengths. They all are in some way connected to Gregory`s family or church interests, while also exemplifying different virtues leading to sanctity. Saints presented in the Life of the Fathers are all either ascetics or bishops.
More on the text: James 1991: ix-xxv.
B. Krusch ed., Gregorii Episcopi Turonensis Miracula et Opera Minora, Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum 1.2, Hannover 1885, 211-294.
Gregory of Tours, Life of the Fathers, trans. E. James, Liverpool 1991.


Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Monastic or common life - Monastic superior (abbot/prior)
Ritual activity - Eucharist
Ritual activity - Temporal impediment to presbyterial activity
Relation with - Another presbyter
Relation with - Monk/Nun
Food/Clothes/Housing - Health & hygiene
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER103,