Paternus, also known as Pair, was born around the year 482, at Poitiers. His mother gave his father, also named Paternus, permission to leave the family and go to Ireland where he lived and died as a holy recluse. Paternus was inspired by his father’s example of piety and decided to enter a monastery. He joined the monks at the abbey of Ansion. In his zeal and desire to attain the perfection of Christian virtue, he went to Wales where he founded a monastery called Lian-patern-vaur (The Church of the great Paternus). His father was still living at this time and Paternus visited him in Ireland. He was soon called back to his first monastery of Ansion. After a few years, he and another monk named Scubilion (later St. Scubilion) after receiving permission from the Bishop, retired to a remote area where there were many Druids. There they were able to bring many idolaters to the faith. Paternus was able to convince the people there to tear down a pagan temple, which had been held in great veneration by the ancient Gauls.
In his old age, St. Paternus was made bishop of Avranches by Germanus, bishop of Rouen. He shepherded his flock for thirteen years before dying in the year 550, on the same day as St. Scubilion. They were buried in the same monument in the oratory of Scicy which is now the parish of the Church of St. Pair (Paternus).
The relics of St. Paternus, along with the relics of St. Gaud are found in his church, the Church of St. Pair in Scicy.
Lord of all, we thank you for the holy ones, like St. Paternus, who have lived their lives on earth in service to you. So many people live only for themselves. Forgive us, Lord, for our selfishness and help us to reflect on the lives of the saints as our examples. Amen.
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