by birth a Gaul, embraced the monastic life, under the auspices of Cassianus, in the early part of the fifth century, at Marseilles, where he enjoyed a high reputation for purity and holiness, until he became the advocate of the double heresy that man did not stand in need of Divine grace, and that Christ was born with a human nature only. Having been excommunicated, in consequence of these doctrines, he betook himself to Africa, where he became familiar with Aurelius and St. Augustine, by whose instructions he profited so much, that he not only became convinced of his errors, but drew up a solemn recantation addressed to Proculus, bishop of Marseilles, and Cyllinnius, bishop of Aix, while four African prelates bore testimony to the sincerity of his conversion, and made intercession on his behalf. Although now reinstated in his ecclesiastical privileges, Leporius does not seem to have returned to his native country; but laying aside the profession of a monk, was ordained a presbyter by St. Augustine about A. D. 425, and appears to be the same Leporius so warmly praised in the discourse De Vita et Moribus Clericorum.
We know nothing further regarding his career except that he was still alive in 430. (Cassianus, de Incarn.
The work, to which we have alluded above, and which is still extant, under the title Libellus Emendationis sive Satisfactionis ad Episcopos Galliae,
sometimes with the addition, Confessionem Fidei Catholicae continens de Mysterio Incarnationis Christi, cum Erroris pristini Detestatione,
was held in very high estimation among ancient divines, and its author was regarded as one of the firmest bulwarks of orthodoxy against the attacks of the Nestorians. Some scholars in modern times, especially Quesnel, who has written an elaborate dissertation on the subject, have imagined that we ought to regard this as a tract composed and dictated by St. Augustine, founding their opinion partly upon the style, partly upon the terms in which it is quoted in the acts of the second council of Chalcedon and other early documents, and partly upon certain expressions in an epistle of Leo the Great (clxv. ed. Quesn.); but their arguments are far from being conclusive, and the hypothesis is generally rejected.
Fragments of the Libellus were first collected by Sirmond, from Cassianus, and inserted in his collection of Gaulish councils, fol. Par. vol. i. p. 52. The entire work was soon after discovered and published by the same editor in his Opuscula Dogmatica Veterum quinque Scriptorum, 8vo. Par. 1630
; together with the letter from the African bishops in favour of Leporius
. It will be found also in the collection of Councils by Labbe, fol. Par. 1671
; in Garnier's edition of Marius Mercator, fol. Par. 1673, tom. i. p. 224
; In the Bibliotheca Patrum Max. fol. Lugdun. 1677, tom. vii. p. 14
; and in the Bibliotheca Patrum of Galland, fol. Venet. 1773, tom. ix. p. 396.
Gennad. de Viris Illustr.
59; Cassian. de Incarn.
1.4; consult the dissertation of Quesnel in his ed. of the works of Leo, vol. ii. p. 906, ed. Paris; Histoire Littéraire de la France,
vol. ii. p. 167; the second dissertation of Gamier, his edition of M. Mercator, vol. i. p.230; the Prolegomena of Galland; Schönemann, Biblioth. Patr. Latt.