ST. PERPETUUS was the eighth Bishop of Tours from St. Gatian, and governed that see above thirty years, from 461 to 491, when he died on the 8th of April. During all that time he labored by zealous sermons, many synods, and wholesome regulations, to lead souls to virtue.
St. Perpetuus had a great veneration for the Saints, and respect for their relics, adorned their shrines, and enriched their churches. As there was a continual succession of miracles at the tomb of St. Martin, Perpetuus finding the church built by St. Bricius too small for the concourse of people that resorted thither, directed its enlargement. When the building was finished, the good bishop solemnized the dedication of this new church, and performed the translation of the body of St. Martin, on the 4th of July in 473.
Our Saint made and signed his last will, which is still extant, on the 1st of March, 475, fifteen years before his death. By it he remits all debts that were owing to him; and having bequeathed to his church his library and several farms, and settled a fund for the maintenance of lamps, and the purchase of sacred vessels, as occasion might require, he declares the poor his heirs. He adds most pathetic exhortations to concord and piety; and bequeaths to his sister, Fidia Julia Perpetua, a little gold cross, with relics; he leaves legacies to several other friends and priests, begging of each a remembrance of him in their prayers. His ancient epitaph equals him to the great St. Martin.
Reflection.—The smart of poverty, says a spiritual writer, is allayed even more by one word of true sympathy than by the alms we give. Alms coldly and harshly given irritate rather than soothe. Even when we cannot give, words of kindness are as a precious balm; and when we can give, they are the salt and seasoning of our alms.