Desiderius of Vienne

Last updated
Desiderius of Fontenelle
Archbishop of Vienne
Diedc. 607
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church [1]
Feast February 11 (West) and May 23 (East) [1]

Desiderius of Vienne (died 607) was a martyred archbishop of Vienne and a chronicler.



Nothing is known about his early years. In 603, in a conflict with Brunhilda of Austrasia, the legitimacy of whose children he had attacked, [2] he was deposed after she combined forces with Aridius, bishop of Lyon. He was stoned to death, some years later, [3] at the order of King Theuderic II of Burgundy. [4]

He was rebuked by Gregory the Great for his interest in the pagan classics, in a letter provoked by the schooling he was providing for his clergy. [5]


He is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church, with his feast days on February 11. [6] In the Eastern Orthodox Church, his feast is celebrated on May 23. [1] A hagiographical work was written about him by the Visigothic king Sisebuto, during the 7th century. [7] A later life was written by Ado of Vienne.


  1. 1 2 3 (in Greek) Ὁ Ἅγιος Δεσιδέριος ὁ Ἱερομάρτυρας Ἐπίσκοπος Βιέννης. 23 Μαΐου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.
  2. Edward James, The Origins of France (1982), p. 139.
  3. Jo Ann McNamara, John E. Halborg, E. Gordon Whatley, Sainted Women of the Dark Ages (1992), p. 121.
  4. May 23 Archived 2011-10-12 at the Wayback Machine . The Roman Martyrology.
  5. Gian Biagio Conte, Latin Literature: A History (1994 translation), p. 718.
  6. On-line Calendar of Saints Days, February
  7. E.g. Bryan Ward-Perkins, The Fall of Rome: And the End of Civilization (2006), p. 166; Jacques Fontaine, "King Sisebut's Vita Desiderii and the Political Function of Visigothic Hagiography." in Visigothic Spain (1980). ed. Edward James

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