Rev. Alban Butler (171173). Volume VIII: August. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.
St. Gery, or Gaugericus, Bishop and Confessor
HE was a native of Yvois, in the diocess of Triers, at present a small but strong town in the duchy of Luxemburgh. He was brought up at home in the study of sacred learning, and in the assiduous practice of self-denial, watching, prayer, and almsdeeds. This private education preserved him from that corruption of morals and sentiments into which youth too often fall, whilst to fashion themselves to the polite and refined manners of the world they are trained up in pleasure and vanity, and frequently exposed to the most baneful influence of bad company. St. Magneric, the successor of St. Nicetas in the bishopric of Triers, coming to Yvois was much delighted with the sanctity and talents of St. Gery, and ordained him deacon; from that moment the saint redoubled his fervour in the exercise of all good works, and applied himself with unwearied zeal to the functions of his sacred ministry, especially to the instruction of the faithful.
The reputation of his virtue and learning raised him to the episcopal chair of Cambray and Arras, which sees remained united from the death of St. Vedast to the year 1093.1 This saint continued his labours in that charge for thirty-nine years, and entirely extirpated out of that country the remains of idolatry. Lest through the multitude of affairs he should in any degree forget that the sanctification of his own soul was his first and most essential duty, and that, without attending to this in the first place, he could hope for little fruit of his labours for the salvation of others, and could not expect that God would make any account of them, he was careful to season them with assiduous recollection, prayer, and self-examination; but from time to time he betook himself to some retired solitude, there to attend to God alone and to recommend to him, by fervent prayer, the souls intrusted to his care. Among other miracles recounted of him, it is related by the author of his life, that at Yvois a leper was healed by being baptized by him; which aptly represented the interior cleansing of the soul from sin. St. Gery was called to eternal rest on the 11th of August, 619, and was buried in the church which he had built in honour of St. Medard. This being demolished by the emperor Charles V. for the building of the citadel, the canons were removed, and took with them the relics of our saint, to an old church of St. Vedast, which from that time has borne the name of St. Gery. See the authentic life of this saint written by the same judicious author who compiled the Chronicle of Cambray, also Chatillon, Series Episc. Camerac. et Atrebat. Boschius the Bollandist, ad 11 Aug. Buzelin.
Note 1. Cambray is mentioned in the Itinerary ascribed to Antoninus, and in the Tables of Peutinger, as a small town of the Nervii, whose capital was Bavai, in Haynault. St. Siagrius is said, in the Chronicle of Nuremburg, to have been consecrated first bishop of Cambray by Pope Evaristus in 110. St. Superior, in 337, is called bishop of the Nervii; but must have resided at Bavaium, the capital, till it was plundered by the Huns, Franks, Vandals, &c. St. Diogenes was bishop of Cambray and Arras in 390, martyred by the Vandals in 407; after whom, this see was vacant, till, in 499, St. Remigius sent St. Vedast, bishop of Arras and Cambray. St. Dominic, chosen by him his coadjutor, governed the see twelve years after his death. St. Vedulphus, his successor, resided at Cambray, where St. Gery was his successor, followed by Bertoald, Adelbert, St. Aubert, St. Vindician, Hildebert, St. Hadulphus, also abbot of St. Vedasts in Arras, who died the 19th of May, in 729. Pope Urban II. separated the sees, and created Lambert, archdeacon of Terouanne, bishop of Arras, in 1094. [back]