ELIGIUS (ELOYSIUS, ELOI), SAINT: Bishop of Noyon (67 m. n.n.e. of Paris), and the patron saint of goldsmiths; b. at Cadillac near Limoges in the early part of the reign of Clotaire II. (584-629); d. at Noyon Nov. 30, 659. He learned the goldsmith's trade under Abbo, the master of the royal mint at Limoges, and held a similar office himself under Dagobert I. (629-639) and Clovis II. (639-657), as is shown by the coins bearing his name. During Dagobert's reign he was probably one of the most influential persons at the court. He was influenced by the religious movement promoted by the Celtic missionary Columban, whom he visited at Luxeuil, and whose rule he introduced into the abbey of Solignac. Soon after Dagobert's death he left the court with his influential friend Audoen, also a disciple of Columban's. Both became bishops--Audoen of Rouen and Eligius of Noyon; they are said to have been consecrated together on May 13, 641. The diocese of Eligius included, besides Noyon, Vermandois, Doornik, Kortrijk, Ghent, and Flanders. The inhabitants, mainly Franks with some Frisians, were still for the most part heathen. According to the Vita, Eligius had great success in his missionary work among them; but the only certain fact in his career as bishop is his participation in the Synods of Châlons-sur-Seine (639 and 654). The authenticity of the homilies which have been handed down under his name has been long contested; E. Vacaudard has proved the spuriousness (Revue des questions historiques, 1898, pp. 471 sqq.)
Bibliography: The Vita by Dado or Audaenus is in MPL, lxxxvii., Fr. trans]. by C. Barthelemy, Paris, 1847, and by Parenty, ib. 1870 (cf. O. Reich, Ueber Audoens Lebensbeschreibung des . . . Eligius, Halle, 1882). The literature is given by Potthast, Wegweiser, pp. 1283-84, and in Wattenbach, DGQ, i (1893), 114. The life in French has been written by Bonnet, Carpentras, 1855; J. F. Godescard, Rouen, 1863; P. Jouhanneaud, Limoges, 1865; H. Delassus, Paris, 1896; and F. Arbellot, ib. 1897. Consult also C. F. de T. Montalembert, Les Moines d'occident, ii. 637, ib. 1860 67; G. F. Maclear, Apostles of Mediæval Europe, London, 1888.