530–609

Introduction

Born: Cir­ca 530, Ce­ne­da (near Tre­vi­so), It­a­ly.

Died: 609, Poi­ti­ers, France.

portrait

Biography

Fortunatus con­vert­ed to Chris­ti­a­ni­ty at an ear­ly age, at Aquil­eia.

While a stu­dent at Ra­ven­na, he be­came al­most blind, but re­co­vered his sight, as he be­lieved mi­ra­cu­lous­ly, by anoint­ing his eyes with oil tak­en from a lamp that burned be­fore the al­tar of St. Mar­tin of Tours. His re­co­ve­ry in­duced him to make a pil­grim­age to the shrine of St. Mar­tin at Tours, in 565. He re­mained in Gaul the rest of his life.

At Poi­ti­ers, he formed a ro­man­tic, though pure­ly pla­to­nic, at­tach­ment for Queen Rha­de­gun­da, daugh­ter of Ber­tha­ri­us, king of Neus­tria. As a result of her in­flu­ence, For­tu­na­tus was event­u­al­ly or­dained and, af­ter Rha­de­gun­da’s death, be­came bi­shop of Poi­ti­ers short­ly be­fore his own death in 609.

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