Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/St. Hospitius

101400Catholic Encyclopedia — St. HospitiusAndrew Alphonsus MacErlean


Recluse, b. according to tradition in Egypt, towards the beginning of the sixth century; d. at San-Sospis, near Villefranche, in the Department of Alpes-Maritimes, France, on 21 May, 581. The saint, who is popularly known as Saint Sospis, is said to have been a monk in his native land. Coming to Gaul, he became a recluse, and retired to a dilapidated tower, situated on the peninsula of Cap Ferrat (or San-Sospis), a few miles east of Nice. The people of the environs frequently consulted him; he forewarned them on one occasion, about the year 575, of an impending incursion of the Lombards. Hospitius was seized by these raiders, but his life was spared. He worked a miracle in favour of one of the warriors, who became converted, embraced the religious life, and was known personally to St. Gregory of Tours. It was from him that Gregory, to whom we are indebted for the meagre details of the saint's life, learnt the austerities and numerous miracles of the recluse. Hospitius foretold his death and was buried by his friend, Austadius, Bishop of Cimiez. He is still venerated in the Diocese of Nice. The cathedral church possesses a small bone of his hand; other relics are at Villefranche, La Turbie, and San-Sospis.

Acta SS., May, V (1685), 40-1; SURIUS, Vitae Sanctorum, V (Cologne, 1618), 282; RAVESC, Cenni storici sulla penisola e santuario di sant' Ospizio, con alcuni tratti di sua vita (Nice, 1848); ST. GREGORY OF TOURS, In gloria confessorum, c. xcvii; IDEM, Historia Francorum, VI, vi, in Mon. Germ. Hist.: SS. Merov., I, 249-53 and 809; GUERIN, Les petits bollandistes, VI (Paris, 1880), 81-84.

A. A. MacErlean.