Anianus of Orléans


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bishop. Born at Vienne of a noble family, he spent most of his life at Orléans, attracted initially by the reputation of Evurtius. By him Anianus was ordained priest in 382 and appointed abbot of St Laurence's soon afterwards. In 388, by Evurtius' choice as well as popular acclaim, he was consecrated bishop. His lasting reputation for outstanding courage rests on his resistance to Attila and his Huns who besieged Orléans in 451. Anianus refused to surrender the town and exhorted all to pray for deliverance. This was achieved by the Roman general Aetius, who drove them away across the Seine. After a long and fruitful episcopate Anianus died on 17 November, subsequently his feast day. His relics were translated to the church of St Peter (subsequently renamed St Anianus), but were scattered by Protestants in the 16th century. Anianus' long-lived cult was demonstrated when in 1852 Bishop Dupanloup founded the Sisters of St Anianus for the care of the sick, and by the patronage of this saint for the city of Orléans at the present time.

Gregory of Tours, History of the Franks, ii. 7; ancient Life in M.G.H., Scriptores rerum Merov., iii (1896), 108–17. More recent Life by C. Duhan (1877) and study of the relics by E. Séjourné (1905);Bibl. SS., i. 1258–9.

Subjects: Christianity.

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