Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 790
Presbyter Saturninus, monk in Bierzo (Iberian Peninsula), separates from his fellow monk Valerius, builds an altar, and nearby a cell where he shuts himself. However, he does not persevere, and one day leaves the place, taking an ass and liturgical books. "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 there ordained a presbyter [783]. He is very pious and performs miracles (see [784], [785], [786], [789]).
13. Cum igitur huic sancto cum summa licentia deserviret altario, et infelicitatis meae solemniter in hoc superioris monasterii ministraret claustro, post haec spiritu vanaegloriae elevatus, sperans se ut a me segregatus super me honorabiliorem laudem nominis sui, me derelicto, amplioremque venerationem obtineret a saeculi vulgo. Discedens hinc erga ipsum sanctum operis sui altarium in tenuissimo et angusto se retrusit ergastulo. De quo pro solo tantum diurnum atque nocturnum celebrandum procedebat officium et saepe offerendum Domino sacrificium.
14. Cum autem ibidem brevi tempore quievisset, rapacissimus vorax ille insatiabilis lupus persecutor animae nostrae, idcirco festinavit eum e consortio unanimitatis meae segregare, ut velut ovem errantem se eum facile aptum faceret praedae. Cujus denique cordis intima ita furens aggressus est, ut eum in tantis angustiarum molestiis faceret atrocitate fluctuare, ut nec die nec nocte inter inde hic et hinc illic, discurrentem permitteret vel modico spatio tranquillae quieteque persistere. Hinc nequiter devictus et facile superatus egrediens, per nocte carricavit asinum, quem habebamus evectionem propter hujus eremi stipendorum necessitate de librorum volumina quos ipsi sancto altario conscripseram, vel caetera quae ibidem de Dei dato contuleram, et temeranter persuasus ductus est ab inimico captivus. [...]
(ed. C.M. Aherne 1949: 141, 143, 145)
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]. He is very pious and performs miracles (see [784], [785], [786], [789]).
13. Although he devoted himself with the greatest generosity to this holy altar, and reverently served me in my misery in this upper monastery cell, afterwards lifted up by a spirit of vainglory, hoping that separated from me, he would obtain praise of his name more honorable than mine by leaving me, and greater veneration from the people of the world, withdrawing from here to that holy altar of his own making, he shut himself in a narrow and restricted prison, from which he came out only for the celebration of the daily and nightly office, and for the frequent offering of the Sacrifice to the Lord.
14. But after he had been settled there for a short time, that rapacious wolf, hungry and insatiable, the persecutor of our soul, hastened to separate him from a single-minded companionship with me so that he could make him easily fit for prey, like a wandering sheep. And so raging he finally gained entrance into the depths of his heart, so that by his cruelty he made him waver in such great and annoying vexations that neither by day nor by night did he permit him, wandering hither and thither, to remain in tranquil quiet even for a single moment. By this sinfully conquered and easily overcome, going forth during the night he loaded an ass, which he had as a beast of burden to procure our livelihood in the wilderness, with volumes of books which I myself had copied for the holy altar, and others which I had brought there God granting it; and rashly persuaded, he was led captive by the enemy. [...]
(ed. C.M. Aherne 1949: 140, 142, 144)

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 engaged in during the time of his monastic life. The exact dates of Valerius life as well as dates of composition of his works cannot be establish, it can only be said that he lived and worked roughly in the 2nd half of the 7th c. 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, 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.


Food/Clothes/Housing - Type of housing
    Monastic or common life - Hermit
      Ritual activity - Private mass
        Ritual activity - Divine office/Liturgy of the hours
          Ecclesiastical administration - Construction/Renovation
              Relation with - Monk/Nun
                  Ritual activity - Daily mass
                    Devotion - Ascetic practice
                      Devotion - Private devotional practice
                        Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER790,