Saint Honoratus was born in Gaul (modern France) about 350, and came from a distinguished Roman family. After a pilgrimage to Greece and Rome, he became a hermit on the isle of Lerins, where he was joined by Saints Lupus of Troyes (July 29), Eucherius of Lyons (November 16), and Hilary of Arles (May 5), among others.
The saint depleted his youthful vigor through fasting and asceticism, and so “the powers of the body made way for the power of the spirit.” Though in poor health, he managed to follow the same rule of fasting and keeping vigil as those who were younger and stronger than he. He would visit the sick when he was even sicker than they were, offering consolation for body and soul. Then, fearing he had not done enough for them, he would review each case in his mind to determine how he could ease their suffering.
Adorned with virtues, Saint Honoratus treated a variety of spiritual diseases, freeing many from their enslavement to vice. His insight into each person’s character enabled him to apply the appropriate remedies for restoring souls to spiritual health.
Saint Honoratus died in 429 shortly after being consecrated as Bishop of Arles. Saint Hilary, his relative and successor, delivered a eulogy which still survives.