Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Exuperius, Bishop of Toulouse

statue of Saint Exuperius, Basilica of Saint-Sernin; artist unknown; photo taken on 25 September 2011 by PierreSelim; swiped off Wikimedia CommonsArticle

He was born, according to the most received opinion, in Aquitain, and raised to the see of Toulouse after the death of Saint Sylvius. Saint Jerom, who corresponded with him, bestows the highest commendations on him in many places of his works. Above all, he praises his charity for the poor. “To relieve their hunger,” says he, “he suffers it himself, and condemns himself to the severest self-denial, that he may be enabled to administer to their wants. The paleness of his face declares the rigour of his fasts; but his poverty makes him truly rich. So poor is he, as to be forced to carry the body of our Lord in an osier basket, and his blood in a glass vessel. His charity knew no bounds. It sought for objects in the most distant parts, and the solitaries of Egypt felt its beneficial effects.” It was in his time that the Vandals, the Sueves, and Alans spread horrible ravages through Gaul. The tender affection wherewith he flew to the relief of the unhappy sufferers, drew tears of joy from Saint Jerom’s eyes. This father dedicated to him his Commentaries on the Prophet Zachary. Saint Exuperius was not witness of the taking of Toulouse by the barbarians, God having spared him so poignant an affliction. He was still alive in 409, since Saint Paulinus of Nola, who wrote in this year, reckons him among the illustrious bishops who then adorned the Gallican church. Neither the place nor year of his death are known. Pope Innocent addressed to him the decretal so famous in church history. It is divided into a number of articles relating to church discipline. Saint Exuperius is honoured at Toulouse on this day, and the feast of his translation celebrated on the 14th of June.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Exuperius, Bishop of Toulouse”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 21 March 2017. Web. 28 September 2020. <>