Saint Cybard

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Cave of Saint Cybard at Angoulême

Saint Cybard (504–81) was a monk and a hermit who inhabited a cave beneath the walls of Angoulême for forty-four (44) years. The Latin form of his name is Eparchius, and it also appears in French as Éparche and Ybars, as in the commune of Saint-Ybars.

Cybard was probably born at Trémolat in the Périgord. He was ordained a priest by Aptonius III, the Bishop of Angoulême, in 542. His story is told in Gregory of Tours Historia Francorum (VI, 8). An anonymous hagiography entitled Vita et virtutes Eparchii reclusi Ecolismensis ("The life and virtues of Eparchius the recluse of Angoulême") tells how "alone he ... walked by night to the spot where he should be a recluse. Having finished his journey and his prayers, he lay down his head on a rock."[1] That spot was, according to the same source, at "a remote location, far from the city, and from above on the side of the mountain trickled a stream of flowing water, and the river Charente started out from there."[2]

The Abbey of Saint-Cybard was built over Cybard's cave after his death, a church in La Rochefoucauld is dedicated to him, and a quarter of Angoulême bears his name. He is the patron saint of the diocese and his feast day is 1 July.


  1. ^ Michael Gervers, "The Cave Church at Gurat (Charente): Preliminary Report," Gesta 6 (1967): 14, note 22: ille singulus . . . ad locum qui ei debebatur recludi ambulavit per nocte. Cumque cursu vel oratione peregrisset, sublato lapide ad capud suum posuit.
  2. ^ Gervers (1967), 14, note 28: locus remotus et civitas procul et desuper latere montis fons aquae fluens manaret, et Carantonis fluvius ab alio excluderet latere.

Further reading[edit]

  • Saint-Roche, P. (1985). "A propos du sanctoral du sacramentaire d'Angoulême." Rivista di archeologia cristiana 61 (1–2): 113–18.