Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Livin, Bishop and Martyr

detail from the painting 'The Martyrdom of Saint Livinus'; by Pieter Pauwel Rubens, 1633; Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

This saint was a learned and zealous Irish bishop, who went over into Flanders to preach the faith to the idolaters. To enter upon that work by dedicating himself a holocaust to God, he spent thirty days in prayer at the tomb of Saint Bavo, at Ghent, and offered there every day the holy sacrifice. After this solemn consecration of himself to his Redeemer, he began to announce the word of life, and converted many about the country of Alost and Hautem. Having cultivated the study of poetry in his youth, he composed an elegy on Saint Bavo, who died only six years before him. Saint Livin was massacred by the pagans, at Esche, in the year 633, according to Colgan, who mentions him to have been bishop of Dublin before he went to the mission of Flanders. His death is placed by others in 656. He was buried at Hautem, three miles from Ghent; and his relics were translated to the great monastery of Saint Peter’s at Ghent, in 1006. In a shrine by that of Saint Livin are preserved the relics of Saint Craphaildes, a lady in whose house Saint Livin was martyred. She was murdered by the same barbarians, for lamenting his death, and her infant son Brictius, whom Saint Livin had lately baptized. The infant martyr’s bones are kept in the same shrine with those of Saint Livin. Saint Brictius is commemorated in a collect with other saints of this monastery. Usher and Mabillon have also published a letter of Saint Livin, whose name occurs in the Roman Martyrology on this day. See his life written by one Boniface in the same age.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Livin, Bishop and Martyr”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 11 August 2018. Web. 25 September 2018. <>