ST. VIGILIUS, BISHOP OF TRENT, M.
THIS saint succeeded Abundantius in the episcopal
see of Trent in 385. He begged of St. Ambrose, who was his
metropolitan, rules for his conduct in his ministry, which that holy
prelate gave him in a long letter, in which he exhorted him
vigorously to oppose the practice of usury, and the custom of
Christians intermarrying with infidels. There remained still many
idolaters in the valleys of the diocese of Trent, who adored Saturn
and other false divinities. St. Vigilius sent SS. Sisinnius,
Martyrius, and Alexander, to preach the faith to them, and afterwards
wrote their acts, or a narrative of their martyrdom, in a short
letter to St. Simplician, St. Ambrose’s successor, and in
another longer to St. Chrysostom. He looked on their glory with a
holy envy, and condemned himself as a mercenary and a coward so long
as he saw his own crown deferred. His labors, however, were at length
recompensed with the happiness of laying down his life for Christ.
The ancient calendars rank him among the martyrs, and Fortunatus
tells us, that in seeking death he found life, being slain for the
faith by a troop of infidel peasants. Usuardus says they murdered him
by a shower of stones, and places his martyrdom in the consulship of
Stillico, which happened in 100 or 405. Surius confounds this saint
with another of the same name, who lived one hundred years later. See
Mabill. Pref. sæc. 5, p. 60. Baillet, &c.