ST. GENESIUS, IN FRENCH GENES, B. C.
FROM his infancy he was a model of innocence and
piety, and despising in his youth the honors which great riches and
high birth insured to him in the world, he chose to serve God in the
lowest rank among the clergy of the diocese of Auvergne, in which
province his family was one of the most distinguished. Against his
inclinations he was promoted to the dignity of archdeacon, in which
his example was to the clergy under his care a spur to the perfect
spirit and practice of all Christian virtues. Austere to himself, he
treated his own body as an enemy, to prevent its rebelling against
the spirit. His charity to the poor seemed to have no bounds. The
respect with which he performed the sacred functions, inspired all
the assistants with awe and devotion. God usually employs the
ministry of saints to form others to perfect sanctity. The holy
archdeacon was the instrument which he made use of to sow by his
grace the seeds of virtue in the heart of St. Prix of Clermont, whose
education was intrusted by his parents to the care of St. Genesius.
But the master preceded him in the episcopal chair of Auvergne, or of
Clermont, to which St. Genesius was promoted upon the death of
Proculus in 656, and he was ordained by compulsion by the bishops of
the province. He extirpated the seeds of the Novatian heresy and of
that of Jovinian; spared nothing to make chastity, charity, and all
virtues flourish in his flock; and to furnish perpetual examples of
the perfect evangelical spirit, he founded the great abbey of
Manlieu, in Latin Magnus Locus, now of the order of St. Bennet, in a
borough of the same name. He founded a great hospital at Clermont,
and died about the year 662. He was buried in the church which he had
built under the title of St. Symphorian, the martyr of Autun, though
it long since bears the name of St. Genesius. In the diocese of
Clermont, and in the Gallican Martyrologies, he is honored on the 3d
of June. See his life in John Savaron, in Origen. Claromont., et de
SS. Ecclesiis Monast. Claromont.; also Branche, in Vies des SS.
d’Auvergne, Gallia Christ. Nova, &c.