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Saint Gaudentius (fl. end of 4th century-early 5th century) was a bishop of Novara, considered the first of that city.[1] Tradition states that he was born to a pagan family at Ivrea, and was then converted to Christianity by Eusebius of Vercelli. Some sources say that Eusebius ordained Gaudentius a priest, and that Gaudentius was sent to Novara by Eusebius to assist a Christian priest named Laurence (Laurentius) there.[1]

Saint Gaudentius of Novara
BornIvrea
Diedearly 5th century
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church
FeastJanuary 22

Eusebius of Vercelli was exiled after a synod held at Milan (355); some sources state that Gaudentius accompanied him in exile.[1] Eusebius ordered him back to Novara, where Laurence had been killed. Gaudentius was supported in his mission by a new ally: Saint Ambrose, bishop of Milan. Simplician, Ambrose’s successor, consecrated Gaudentius as bishop of Novara in 398 AD.[1]

Basilica of San Gaudenzio

Gaudentius preached and ordained many new clergymen. A miracle reported of his death states that Gaudentius’ head continued to speak after the saint had died, so that the clergy could record and repeat his sermons.[1]

The Basilica of San Gaudenzio in Novara, as well as numerous churches throughout the region, is dedicated to him.

ReferencesEdit

  • Nicholas Everett, Patron Saints of Early Medieval Italy AD c.350-800 (PIMS/ Durham University Press, 2016), pp.14-38.

External linksEdit

  • (in Italian) San Gaudenzio
  • Nicholas Everett, "The Hagiography of Lombard Italy", Hagiographica 7 (2000) 92-100.