Rev. Alban Butler (171173). Volume VII: July. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.
St. Calais, Abbot
[In Latin Carilephus, first Abbot of Anille in Maine.] HE was born in Auvergne, of a family equally virtuous and noble. He was yet a child when they sent him to the monastery of Menat in the diocess of Clermont, in order to be early principled in knowledge and piety. Here he became a religious, and practised all the prescriptions of the rule with the greatest fervour. After some time he quitted the monastery with St. Avi, and they both retired to the abbey of Micy near Orleans. The bishop of this city having destined them for holy orders, they withdrew themselves from the abbey, and advancing together as far as Perche, led by their fervour to the austerities of an eremitical life, they separated. St. Calais was followed by two persons, who by no means would consent to quit him, and with these he went to Maine, where he perfectly revived the rigorous discipline of the ancient eastern hermits. But as he was constantly visited by numbers who sought to live under his direction, he at length consented to receive them. King Childebert gave him land whereon to build a monastery, which was first called Anisole or Anille, from the river on which it was situated,1 but it is now, as well as the little town built round it, called after this saint. The life of the holy founder was not only extraordinary for penance and prayer, but he excelled in the exact observance of his rules; insomuch that he constantly refused the visit of queen Ultrogotha, wife of Childebert, because one of the statutes forbade to enter the monastery. He died in 542, and his name is mentioned this day in the Roman Martyrology. A portion of his relics is kept in the abbey of St. Calais, but the greater part is in the chapel of the castle of Blois which also bears his name. See the life of St. Calais, written by Siviard, fifth abbot of Anille, with the notes of Mabillon, and the Bollandist, t. 1. Jul. p. 85, and Martenne Ampl. Coll. t. 1. præf. p. 4, &c
Note 1. It is nine leagues from Mans. Childebert in the charter says, that the land had been already given to the saint by Clovis his father. (Marten. Amp. Coll. tom. 1, p. 1. This is also attested by Nicolas, (Ep. ad Episc. Gall.) and is likewise insinuated by Siviard in his life of St. Calais. [back]