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Saint Of The Day For December 15: Saint Valerian

Bishop of Avensano (today Tunisia), Valerian witnessed faith in Jesus true God and true man during the persecution of the Vandals.

King Genseric, an Arian, forced him to live on the streets, aged 80, for refusing to hand over the Church’s sacred furnishings. He died of hardship in the 5th century.

Valerian was a Roman bishop of Avensa, present-day Bordj-Hamdouna, and is venerated by the Catholic Church.

The History of Valerian

At the age of more than eighty, he was bishop of Avensa (dioecesis Avensensis), present-day Bordj-Hamdouna, belonging to the Archdiocese of Carthage in North Africa.

Here, after his predecessor Fortunatus, during the Vandal persecution, he steadfastly refused to obey the order of Genseric, king of the Vandal Alans, to hand over all church furnishings.

For this reason, he was driven out of the city along with eight other bishops from North Africa with the prohibition for anyone to offer him hospitality.

For a long time and until the end of his life, he remained a faithful confessor of the righteous faith.

He died during one of his pilgrimages.

The Commemoration of Valerian

He is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology, under the title of Bishop of Avensano, on 15 December:
“Commemoration of Saint Valerian, Bishop of Avensanus in North Africa, who, at the age of more than eighty, during the Vandal persecution, steadfastly refused to hand over the sacred furnishings of the Church as demanded by King Genseric and was for this reason chased all alone out of the city, with the order that no one should lend him hospitality either in his house or among the fields; he lay, therefore, for a long time in the open air on the public road, thus reaching the end of his holy life as a confessor of the righteous faith. ”

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