Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 786
Presbyter Saturninus, monk in Bierzo (Iberian Peninsula), cultivates vegetables and protects them from destruction by a veil blessed on the altar. Valerius of Bierzo, "Replicatio sermonum", 2nd half of the 7th century.
The monks Valerius and Saturninus build a church in honour of the Holy Cross, St. Pantaleon and other holy martyrs near their hermitage in the region of Bierzo. Saturninus is ordained there a presbyter [783].
11. [...] Cum autem in eodem deserto aliquantulum legumina seminasset, et, dono Domini, uberrimae fecundans densissima excrevisset quam cum maturescentem cernert, cavens namque ne a diversis vastaretur, parvulum super altarium benedixit velellum, quem pro signo in eodem suspendit agro. Cumque omnes formidarent quicquam ex inde contingere, quidam stultus, dum ausu improbo ibidem fuisset ingressus, et coepisset gulae suae explere voracitatem, protinus percussus est a serpente. Et mox decidens, tamdiu ibidem jacuit exanimis sine mente quousque invenirent eum plus de ore et posteriore stercora fundentem quam habuerat discerpere, dum per gratiam Domini nullus alius fuisset inventus qui in his montibus a serpente fuisset vulneratus.
(ed. C.M. Aherne 1949: 141)
The monks Valerius and Saturninus build a church in honour of the Holy Cross, St. Pantaleon and other holy martyrs near their hermitage in the region of Bierzo. Saturninus is ordained there a presbyter (783).
11. [...] When in the same wilderness he had sowed some vegetables, and they by the gift of the Lord bearing very richly had produced a heavy crop, which as he saw it getting ripe he feared would be destroyed by one thing or another, he blessed a little veil upon the altar and hung it in the field for a sign. And although everyone was afraid to touch anything in it, a certain foolish person, after he with wicked daring had entered there, and had set about satisfying his voracious appetite, forthwith was struck by a serpent. And immediately falling down he lay there for a long time lifeless and unconscious, until they found him pouring out from his mouth and posterior more excrement than the amount of fruits he had been able to pluck, whereas through the grace of the Lord no one else was found who had been wounded by a serpent in these mountains.
(ed. C.M. Aherne 1949: 140)

Place of event:

  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Bierzo

About the source:

Author: Valerius of Bierzo
Title: Replicatio sermonum, Further account
Origin: Bierzo (Iberian Peninsula)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
"Replicatio sermonum" is the second part of the autobiographical trilogy written by the eremitical monk from the region of Bierzo (Iberian Peninsula) Valerius. He relates the sufferings, attacks of the devil and conflicts he was involved during his monastic life. The exact dates of Valerius life, as well as the dates of the composition of his works cannot be established; it can only be said that he lived and worked in roughly the second half of the seventh century. Apart from the autobiographical writings he composed six short works: De vana saeculi sapientia, Vita et epistola beatissimae Egeriae, De genere monachorum, Dicta beatum Valeri ad beatum Donadeum scripta, De Bonello monacho, and De caeleste revelatione. On Valerius of Bierzo see Aherne 1949, Collins 1986, Díaz y Díaz 2006, Martín 2011.
Edition and translation:
Valerius of Bierzo, Ordo querimoniae, [in:]  C.M. Aherne, Valerio of Bierzo, an Ascetic of the Late Visigothic Period. A Dissertation, Washington D.C. 1949, 68-109
J.L. Avello Álvarez, "Los suevos y visigodos en la provincia de León", Memorias de historia antigua 11-12 (1990), 295-316.
R. Collins, "The Autobiographical Works of Valerius of Bierzo their structure and purpose”, [in :] Antigüedad y cristianismo: Monografías históricas sobre la Antigüedad tardía, 1986, 425-442.
M.C. Díaz y Díaz, Valerio Del Bierzo: su persona, su obra, León 2006.
M. Gómez Moreno, Catálogo monumental de España. Provincia de León (1906-1908), v. 1, Madrid 1925.
J.C. Martín, "¿Valerio en Compludo? Examen crítico de los opúsculos autobiográficos (CPL 1282-1284) y las Visiones del más allá (CPL 1277-1279) de Valerio del Bierzo”, Veleia 23 (2006), 327-338.


Monastic or common life - Hermit
    Economic status and activity - Farming
      Ritual activity - Blessing
        Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER786,