Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Fursey, Abbot in Ireland

detail of an illustration of Saint Fursey of Péronne from a 16th century French 'Lives of the Saints' published in Paris, France; Richard de Montbaston et collaborateurs; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

Son of Fintan, king of part of Ireland, he was abbot first of a monastery in his own country, in the diocess of Tuam, near the lake of Orbsen, where now stands the church of Kill-fursa, says Colgan. Afterwards travelling with two of his brothers, St. Foilan and St. Ultan, through England, he founded, by the liberality of king Sigibert, the abbey of Cnobbersburg, now Burg-castle in Suffolk. Saint Ultan retired into a desert, and St. Fursey, after some time, followed him thither, leaving the government of his monastery to St. Foilan. Being driven thence by the irruptions of king Penda, he went into France, and, by the munificence of king Clovis II. and Erconwald, the pious mayor of his palace, built the great monastery of Latiniac, or Lagny, six leagues from Paris, on the Marne. He was deputed by the bishop of Paris to govern that diocess in quality of his vicar: on which account some have styled him bishop. He died in 650 at Froheins, that is, Fursei-domus, in the diocess of Amiens, whilst he was building another monastery at Peronne, to which church Erconwald removed his body. His relics have been famous for miracles, and are still preserved in the great church at Peronne, which was founded by Erconwald to be served by a certain number of priests, and made a royal collegiate church of canons by Lewis XI. Saint Fursey is honoured as patron of that town.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Fursey, Abbot in Ireland”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 14 August 2018. Web. 29 November 2020. <>