Lupus of Troyes

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Saint Lupus of Troyes
Born c. 383
Toul, Western Roman Empire
Died c. 478
Venerated in Eastern Orthodox Church
Roman Catholic Church
Feast July 29
Attributes depicted with a diamond falling from heaven as he celebrates Mass; shown holding a chalice with a diamond in it or at the altar, giving a diamond to a king[1]

Saint Lupus (French: Loup, Leu) (c. 383 – c. 478 AD) was an early bishop of Troyes. Born at Toul, he was brother-in-law to Hilary of Arles, as he had married one of Hilary's sisters, Pimeniola. Lupus worked as a lawyer.[1] However, after being married for six years, he and his wife parted by mutual agreement. Lupus renounced all of his wealth and entered Lérins Abbey, a community led by Saint Honoratus. Around 426, Lupus was named bishop of Troyes. Lupus was reluctant to assume this office: a story told of him was when he traveled to Mâcon in order to dispose of an estate, he was met by deputies of the diocese of Troyes with the news of the death of Ursus, bishop of Troyes, and his own selection to the see. Lupus refused to take this office but eventually relented.[1]

Sidonius Apollinaris called him "The father of fathers and bishop of bishops, the chief of the Gallican prelates, the rule of manners, the pillar of truth, the friend of God, and the intercessor to him for men."[2]

Lupus is identified with the figure of the same name who accompanied Saint Germanus of Auxerre on his first visit to Britain with the purpose of ending Pelagianism.[1] Lupus has also been called the brother of Vincent of Lérins.[3]

Lupus and Attila[edit]

Lupus was credited with saving Troyes from the Huns under Attila, in 451.[4] According to the accounts, after praying for many days, Lupus, dressed in full episcopal regalia, went to meet Attila at the head of a procession of the clergy. Attila was allegedly so impressed with Lupus that he spared the city. Attila went on to lose the Battle of Châlons. Lupus ran into trouble when Attila asked the bishop to accompany him and his army after Châlons; Attila believed that Lupus’ presence would spare his army from extermination. However, Lupus was accused by the Romans of helping the Huns escape. Lupus was forced to leave Troyes, and he became a hermit in the mountains. But, as one source states, "many scholars doubt the veracity of the account of the Attila incident."[4] A similar story is told of Saint Genevieve. Donald Attwater writes that the tale of Lupus and Attila is hagiographical rather than historical.[5] However, the historical kernel it might contain is that Troyes was spared being sacked by Attila's army and that its inhabitants considered this a miraculous deliverance.


External links[edit]

  • Lupus of Troyes
  • Index of Saints website with thousands of saints, and sources. (an archived, earlier version of "Saint of the Day" at