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Salvius


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(7th century),

bishop. The identity of a famous relic, presented to Canterbury Cathedral by William the Conqueror, when Lanfranc rebuilt it after the fire in 1069, is a matter of dispute. Some identify this Salvius with the bishop of Amiens, who flourished under Theodoric II and died in 625, and whose relics were transferred to Montreuil (Picardy). Feast: 12 January.

Another Salvius, a missionary bishop sometimes supposed to have come from Angoulême, arrived in Valenciennes. c.768 and was soon murdered for the sake of his rich robes. He and a companion who shared his fate were buried at St Vedast, Valenciennes. Feast: 26 June.

Yet a third Salvius was a Norman hermit in the forest of Bray with a reputation for miracles. He is believed to have flourished in the 6th century. Feast: 28 October.

It is perhaps ironical that Lanfranc, who questioned the cults of Anglo-Saxon saints, of whom many were reputable historical characters, should have introduced uncertain relics into the very rich Canterbury collection. Canterbury calendars place his feast on 26 June, thereby identifying him with Salvius of Valenciennes.

B.L.S., ix, Sept. 10th, p. 89.

Subjects: Christianity.


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