Monday, November 14, 2011


St. Ferreolus of Uzes

Feastday: January 4

Bishop of Uzes, France, devoted to converting Jews. He was born in Narbonne, France, and was exiled by King Childebert I of Paris, over some dispute. Ferreolus founded a monastery.

Saint Ferréol (Ferreolus) of Uzès (530 – January 4, 581) was bishop of Uzès and possibly bishop of Nîmes . His Feast Day is January 4.

He was born in Narbonne, apparently a grandson of Cloderic of the Ripuarian Franks. Bishops in Merovingian Gaul were ordinarily drawn from the highest levels of society. Ferréol founded a Benedictine abbey, for which he wrote a rule that survives; it regards the work of transcription in the scriptorium as the equivalent of manual labor, since it charges that the monk "who does not turn up the earth with the plow ought to write the parchment with his fingers." As bishop of Uzès, Ferréol devoted himself in particular to converting the Jews within his diocese.

Under Childebert I Ferréol was banished from his see in 555, for having lived in too friendly relations with the Jews of Septimania. The thoroughly Romanized region had until recently been ruled by a Visigothic and Arian upper class, and relaxed relations with the long-established and urbane Jewish community was a Visigoth tradition. Ferréol's motive lay in hopes of making conversions.

He was restored to his see after three years , but now had to toe the strict Merovingian line: "Ferréol ordered the Jews of his diocese to meet in the Church of St Theodoric, and preached to them a baptismal sermon. Some Jews abjured their faith; he forbade the others to remain in the city, and expelled them from his diocese" in 558

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