6. AUTISSIODORENSIS, or St. Germain
of Auxerre, one of the most eminent of the early saints of the Gallic church, lived a little before the overthrow of the western empire.
He was born at Auxerre, about A. D. 378, of a good family, and at first followed the profession of the bar. Having embraced the Christian religion, and entered the church, he was ordained deacon by Amator, bishop of Auxerre, and on his death shortly after was unanimously chosen his successor, and held the see from A. D. 418 to 449.
He was eminent for his zeal against heresy, his success as a preacher, his holiness, and the miracles which he is said to have wrought. Among the remarkable incidents of his life were his two visits to Britain, the first in or about A. D. 429 and 430; the second in A. D. 446 or 447, shortly before his death, which, according to Bede, took place at Ravenna, in Italy, apparently in A. D. 448. His transactions in Britain were among the most important of his life, especially in his first visit, when he was sent over by a council, with Lupus Trecasenus or Trecassinus (St. Loup of Troyes), as his associate, to check the spread of Pelagianism.
He was successful not only in the main object of his mission, but also in repelling in a very remarkable manner an incursion of the Saxons, who were struck with panic by the Britons (who, under the guidance of Germanus, were advancing to repel them), raising a shout of "Alleluia."
This incident occurred before the commencement of the Saxon conquest under Hengist, during the first visit of Germanus.
The writings of Germanus are unimportant. One of them, which is not now extant, but which Nennius quotes (100.50), contained an account of the death of the British king, Guortigirnus or Vortigern.
100.30-50 ; Baeda, De Sex Aetat.,
and Hist. Eccles. Gent. Anglor.
1.100.17-21, Acta Sanctor. Julii,
31, vol. vii.