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St. Virgil

Facts

Birth: 530
Death: ~610

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A native of the French region of Gascony, Virgil became a monk of the island abbey of Lerins (Saint-Honorat), near Cannes, France. It is related that one night, as Virgil was walking along the shore, he spotted a mysterious ship moored along the beach, with its sailors manning the deck. Two disembarked and approached him, saying, "Reverend father, we know who you are, and greatly esteem your incomparable virtue...And now we are bound for Jerusalem; come, therefore, with us...and your name will be praised by all men." Perceiving in these flattering words the smoke of Satan, Virgil immediately made the sign of the cross and answered, "The wicked wiles of the deceiver cannot beguile the soldiers of Christ, nor can you entrap those whom God forewarns." When Virgil had spoken, the ship and its sailors instantly vanished, leaving only the calm of a starlit night. Virgil became archbishop of the city of Arles, and proved to be a zealous pastor. He is believed to have been the bishop who consecrated the great apostle of England, Saint Augustine of Canterbury, to the episcopacy.

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