August 5, 2019

Saint Cassian, Bishop of Autun (+ 350)

St. Cassian of Autun (Feast Day - August 5)

Saint Cassian was perhaps born in Egypt. After the peace bought by Constantine he had a vision and decided to embark with some companions to evangelize the Britons. Getting as far as Autun, he became the assistant of Saint Reticius, Bishop of Autun. Cassian succeeded Reticius as bishop, serving for about twenty years, and was well liked by the people of his see.

Gregory of Tours, who came to Autun two centuries after his death, said he saw a great veneration at his tomb. The grave stone dust was reputed to cure all ills. He writes in his book Glory of the Confessors (ch. 73): "In this cemetery I saw the tomb of the blessed Cassian, a great bishop. The tomb had been scratched at by many people and was thought at that time that have been almost perforated. Ill people purify themselves with this dust, and immediately they feel the immensity of his power."

The abbot of Saint-Quentin in Vermandois wishing to obtain the relics of the Saint made the request to Bishop Modon of Autun. He obtained the precious relic, and the body was taken to his monastery around the year 820. Charles the Bald restored the reliquary with a magnificent reliquary stored in the crypt of the Basilica of Saint-Quentin.