Little is known of the details of this saint's life, but his cult was well established from an early date. He was the seventh bishop of Reims and lived in the late 4th century. His reputation as bishop led to his being chosen as patron of his city: his cult spread to the Low Countries through the movement of his relics. These had initially been enshrined at Corbie (near Amiens), then at Torhout, then in 863 at Bruges, whose cathedral and diocese were dedicated to Donatian. After the French Revolution, they were enclosed in a new reliquary (1806). This saint's iconography is mainly, but not exclusively, Flemish: there are fine examples at Bruges, Tournus, and Meissen. Feast: 14 October.
Bibl. SS., iv. 799–801.