390/(around)400 : : Died:
These French saints were brothers. Everyone who knew St. Romanus as a youth admired him for his goodness. He had a great wish to become a saint. Since he saw that it was very easy to forget about God in this world, at the age of thirty five, Romanus decided to go away to a quiet place and live as a hermit.
First, he asked the advice of a holy monk, and then he started off. He took a book with him called The Lives of the Fathers of the Desert by Cassian. He also took seeds to plant and a few tools.
With these supplies, he went into the forests of the Jura mountains between Switzerland and France and settled down beneath a huge fire tree at a place called Condat. There he found a spot of land good for growing his garden and food, and some trees from which he could eat a kind of wild fruit. He spent his time praying and reading his book. He also planted and cared for his garden, quietly enjoying nature.
Soon afterward, his brother Lupicinus joined him. Romanus and Lupicinus were very different. Romanus was hard on himself but he was kind and gentle and full of understanding with others. Lupicinus was tough and very strict with himself and usually the same with others but he only meant good and did not do it to hurt anyone. The two brothers understood each other and got along peacefully.
Many men came to join them. They wanted to be monks, too, so they built two monasteries. Romanus was the abbot of Condat (now Saint Claude) and Lupicinus was the abbot of Leuconne. Later they built the convent of La Beaume for nuns (now St. Romain de la Roche).
The monks lived simple, hard lives. They ate simple food which was mainly bread made of barley or bran and pulses and slept on the ground or on hard boards. St. Lupicinus wore a tunic made of skins of animals with a cowl: and wore wooden shoes.
They prayed much and made sacrifices cheerfully. They did penance to strengthen themselves against the temptations of the devil. They worked very hard farming to grow their food and kept silent all the time.
They lived like this because they wanted to grow close to God and when they were silent they were able to pray and talk with God. Their lifestyle helped them become more holy.
St. Romanus died in 460 and was buried at the abbey of Beaume. His younger brother, St. Lupicinus, died in 480.
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