Rev. Alban Butler (171173). Volume IX: September. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.
St. Justus, Archbishop of Lyons, Confessor
HIS virtues rendered him so conspicuous whilst he served the church of Vienne in quality of deacon, that he was advanced to the metropolitan see of Lyons about the year 350. In this exalted station he showed by the whole tenour of his conduct that he feared nothing but God, hoped for nothing but from God; and regarded not the applause or presents, but the wants of those who approached him. His patience and temper were proof against every trial: the ardour of his zeal made him severe in reproving every thing that deserved reproof. His attachment to discipline and good order was inviolable, and his love of peace, concord, and unity, sincere and constant. He was circumspect every where and in all things. A great council of western prelates being assembled at Aquileia, in the reign of Gratian, in 381, St. Justus of Lyons, with two other bishops from Gaul, assisted at it. The chief affairs there debated regarded the Arians, and St. Ambrose managed everything in that venerable assembly. That holy bishop had a particular respect for our saint, as appears from two letters which he addressed to him concerning certain questions of the holy scripture.
It happened a little before this council, that at Lyons a certain madman who had stabbed some persons in the street, took sanctuary in the great church; and St. Justus, in order to appease the mob, delivered him into the hands of a public officer, upon a promise that the prisoners life should be spared. Notwithstanding this he was despatched by the populace. The good bishop was apprehensive that he had been accessary to his death, and was by that irregularity disqualified for the ministry of the altar; and having long desired to serve God in retirement, he made use of this occasion to resign the pastoral charge. The extreme opposition of his flock seemed an impediment to his design. But his journey to the council afforded him a favourable opportunity, and in his return he stole from his friends in the night at Torrente, and bending his course to Marseilles he there took shipping with a lector of his church named Viator, and sailed to Alexandria. Concealing his character he lived unknown in a numerous monastery in Egypt, surpassing the whole community in the fervour of his penance. After some years he happened to be discovered by one who came from Gaul, to visit the monasteries in Egypt. The whole house was much surprised at so extraordinary an example, and the church of Lyons had no sooner notice, but a priest called Antiochus was sent to conjure him, in the name both of the clergy and people, to return; but he was not to be prevailed upon. Antiochus determined to bear him company in his solitude and penance, and the saint shortly after died in his arms, about the year 390. His body was soon after translated to Lyons. St. Justus is commemorated on this day in the Roman Martyrology, and in those of Bede, Ado, and Usuard. The village of St. Just in Cornwall takes its name from this saint. See his elegant accurate ancient life, with the notes of Stilting the Bollandist, Sept. t. 1, p. 365; Tillemont, t. 8, p. 546; Fleury, l. 18, n. 10; Dom. Rivet, Hist. Littér. t. 1, part 2, p. 254; the two brothers of Ste. Marthe, Gallia Christiana Vet. edit. t. 1, p. 293.