As a priest
of Lyons, France, Aetherius was a favorite pupil of the city's archbishop, Saint Nicetius (+573). Aetherius must have possessed a degree of talent as a carpenter, for the historian Saint Gregory of Tours
relates that he built a bed for Nicetius "with the greatest of care." Following Nicetius' death, miracles occurred with this bed. Those stricken with fevers and other illnesses were cured after being laid upon it. As a cherished relic, the bed was adorned with a rich cloth covering and encircled by vigil lamps, one of which miraculously burned continuously for forty days and nights without its oil or wick being replenished. Around the year 586, Aetherius was raised to the archiepiscopal office held by his mentor Nicetius years earlier. In 596, Pope Saint Gregory I wrote to Aetherius, charging him to give lodging and assistance to the missionary he was sending "to save souls" in England by way of Lyons, Saint Augustine of Canterbury. It is Aetherius who is thought to have consecrated Augustine a bishop
when he returned to France
following the beginning of his labors in England.