Rev. Alban Butler (171173). Volume IV: April. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.
St. Phæbadius, Bishop and Confessor
[Called in Gascony Fiari; Bishop of Agen, in Gaul.] WHEN the second Arian confession of faith was drawn up at Sirmium, and subscribed to by Osius, in 358, St. Phæbadius wrote against it with great success, and by his zeal put a check to that spreading evil, so that in Aquitain it was universally rejected. His book against the Arians, which is extant,1 is written in so masterly a manner, with such solidity, justness, and close reasoning, as to make us regret the loss of his other works. In it he confutes this heretical confession of faith, and even in the more innocent parts discovers the secret wiles and subtle equivocations of its authors. In the council of Rimini, in 359, he zealously opposed the Arians, together with St. Servatius of Tongres. These two prelates were at length imposed upon by the artful practices of Ursacius and Valens, to admit a captious proposition, without perceiving the poison which it contained. But, discovering afterwards the snare, they declared they had been deceived, and condemned what they had done at Rimini.2 St. Phæbadius, to repair this evil, redoubled his zeal in the council of Paris, in 360, and in the council of Saragossa, in Spain, in 380, and joined St. Delphinus, archbishop of Bourdeaux, his metropolitan, in all his labours for the faith. We have a learned, elegant, and solid treatise, in which the council of Rimini is confuted, and Ursacius and Valens attacked, of which Dom Rivet proves3 St. Phæbadius to have been the author. A Greek translation of this piece is published among the discourses of St. Gregory Nazianzen, it being the forty-ninth. St. Phæbadius was alive in a very decrepid old age, in 392, when St. Jerom wrote his catalogue of illustrious men. The church of Agen places his festival on the 25th of April. See Tillemont, t. 6, p. 427; and Rivet. Hist. Liter. p. 266, and p. 30, t. 1, part 2.