Lives Of The Saints
June 7.—ST. CLAUDE, Archbishop.
THE province of Eastern Burgundy received great lustre from this glorious Saint. He was born at Salins, about the year 603, and was both the model and the oracle of the clergy of Besançon, when, upon the death of Archbishop Gervaise, about the year 683, he was chosen to be his successor. Fearing the obligations of that charge, he fled and hid himself, but was discovered and compelled to take it upon him. During seven years he acquitted himself of the pastoral functions with the zeal and vigilance of an apostle; but finding then an opportunity of resigning his see, which, out of humility and love of solitude, he had always sought, he retired to the great monastery of St. Oyend, and there took the monastic habit, in 690. Violence was used to oblige him soon after to accept the abbatial dignity. Such was the sanctity of his life, and his zeal in conducting his monks in the paths of evangelical perfection, that he deserved to be compared to the Antonines and Pachomiuses, and his monastery to those of ancient Egypt. Manual labor, silence, prayer, reading of pious books, especially the Holy Bible, fasting, watching, humility, obedience, poverty, mortification, and the close union of their hearts with God, made up the whole occupation of these fervent servants of God, and were the rich patrimony which St. Claude left to his disciples. He died in 703.
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