st.Gregory of Tours-Bishop and historian

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  st.Gregory of Tours

Feast Day : November 17



Gregory was born in Tours in 538 or 539 to an illustrious family with ties to the great houses of Gaul. He was named Georgius Florentius, but later took the name Gregory in memory of his maternal great-grandfather, who was the bishop of Langres. Gregory’s father died when he was young, and he was sent to be educated by his uncle Gallus, bishop of Clermont. A serious illness convinced him to serve the Church. After Gallus died in 554, he was turned over to Avitus, a priest who later became the bishop of Clermont. In 573 Gregory was named bishop of Tours by King Sigebert I, and he went to Rome to be consecrated. In his role as bishop, Gregory was faced with almost constant civil war. He increased the number of churches and attended to the suffering of the people, all the while managing to stay out of politics. Gregory began his career as an historian during his episcopate. He was fascinated by the lives and miracles and intercession of the fathers, saints and martyrs, subjects on which he wrote numerous books. He is perhaps best-known for his 10-volume Historia Francorum, an early Frankish history beginning with Adam, and for his three books on the life and miracles of St. Martin of Tours. A fourth book was never completed. Other notable works are De Vitae Patribus (Lives of the fathers) and Gloriam Martyrum (Book of the glories of the martyrs), about the miracles of the martyrs in Gaul during Roman persecutions. Gregory put his theology into the introductions of his books, and wrote only one purely theological work, De cursu stellarum ratio (On the courses of the stars), which discusses using the stars to set the proper time for the singing of the night office. Gregory died in Tours on November 17, 593, or 594.

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