Saints of the Day – Prudentius Galindo

Saint Prudentius of TroyesArticle

(also known as Prudentius of Troyes)

Born in Spain; died in Troyes, France, April 6, 861. In the days of the Franks, there came from Spain to the court of France a young and gifted lawyer named Prudentius, baptized Galindo, who was a patriotic citizen of the Roman Empire. He had come to Gaul fleeing the persecutions of the Saracens and studied at the Palatine school, where he changed his name to Prudentius.

He had distinguished gifts and rose to high office. In the course of time he held, we are told, “the reins of power over famous cities.” In later middle life, however, he turned from his public offices to the Church and devoted himself and his talents to the service of God.

He now came to regard the empire that he had served so well as an instrument in God’s hands for the advancement of Christianity, and he lived to see the tide turn against Julian the Apostate, who had bee “faithful to Rome, but faithless to God.” He was appointed chaplain to the Frankish court and, in 840 or 845, was elected bishop of Troyes, thus becoming a leading member of the episcopate.

Prudentius was appointed by Bishop Hincmar of Rheims to judge the case of a monk named Gottschalk, whom Hincmar had tortured, imprisoned, and excommunicated for teaching that God would save only the elect and condemn most of humanity. Prudentius defended the theory of double predestination and that Christ died only for those who are saved – a theory that set off a widespread dispute.

Known for his learning and as a theologian, Prudentius was also a poet, and one of his poems reflects his experience:

Now then, at last, close on the very end of life,
May yet my sinful soul put off her foolishness;
And if by deeds it cannot, yet, at least,
by words give praise to God,
Join day to day by constant praise,
Fail not each night in songs to celebrate the Lord,
Fight against heresies, maintain the catholic faith.

He became widely known by his writings, including a history of the Western franks called Annals of Saint Bertin, an extant treatise against John Scotus Erigena De praedistinatione contra Johannem Scotem (851), a defense of his own theory in Epistola tractoria ad Wenilonem (856). Prudentius was the best author of his day – “the prince of Christian poets,” and “the Homer and the Virgil of the Christians.” Today he is chiefly remembered for his fine hymn, Of the Father’s love begotten, Ere the worlds began to be. The feast of Prudentius is still kept at Troyes (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Gill).

MLA Citation

  • Katherine I Rabenstein. Saints of the Day, 1998. CatholicSaints.Info. 30 May 2020. Web. 13 May 2021. <>