Barontius and Desiderius

"Barontius" is also the name of a martyr associated with Saint Crispoldus.
Saints Barontius and Desiderius
Died c. 725 AD
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Feast March 25

Barontius (Barontus) (French: Baronce, Italian: Baronto, Baronzio) and Desiderius (French: Dizier, Italian: Desiderio) were two 8th century hermits who are venerated as saints by the Catholic Church.[1] They were hermits near Pistoia, in Italy.[1]

Barontius had been a Frankish nobleman of Berry who had, with his son, been a monk at Saint-Pierre de Longoret (Longoreto, Longoretum, Lonrey) (diocese of Bourges), now the monastery of Saint-Cyran-du-Jambot.[1] Barontius was a former member of the court of Theuderic II.[1]

Visio Baronti Monachi Longoretensis

According to the text known as Visio Baronti Monachi Longoretensis, a 4700-word long text dated 25 March 678 or 679 purportedly written by Barontius himself,[2] Barontius received a vision of heaven and hell around 678.[3] Barontius, described by one scholar as β€œa middle-aged former public servant with three marriages and far too many mistresses on his conscience,”[3] claims that he fell into a coma and had a vision that he was flying through the air above the Bourges region as demons clawed and kicked at him.[3]

Accompanied by the archangel Raphael, Barontius journeys through the four levels of heaven, although he continues to be tormented by the demons, who want to pull him down to hell.[4] Barontius meets people he has known, including fellow monks from Longoreto.[4] Raphael asks another angel to bring Saint Peter to them, so that Peter can judge Barontius.[4]

The demons bring their evidence against Barontius, going β€œover all the sins that [Barontius] had committed from infancy onwards, including those which [he] had totally forgetten.”[3] However, the demons get so annoying that Peter whacks them with his keys, sending them away.[4] Peter then decides to send Barontius back to earth via hell, where Barontius sees all of the souls in torment before returning to earth.[4]

When he recovers, he is asked to tell of his vision.[4]

At Pistoia

This vision led to Barontius' decision to become a hermit in Italy, and he established himself near Pistoia with Desiderius, also a former monk.[1]

They lived an austere life, and were joined by disciples.[5]

They died around 725 AD.[5] Their names appear in the Martyrologium Romanum.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e Katherine I. Rabenstein (1998). "Saint of the Day, March 25: Barontius (Barontus) & Desiderius". Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  2. ^ Eileen Gardiner (2006). "Judeo-Christian Hell Texts". Hell-On-Line. Retrieved May 18, 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d Caroline Walker Bynum, Paul H. Freedman, Last things: death and the Apocalypse in the Middle Ages (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000), 54.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Eileen Gardiner, Medieval visions of heaven and hell: a sourcebook (Published by Taylor & Francis, 1993), 43-44.
  5. ^ a b c "Den hellige Barontius og Desiderius av Pistoia (d. ~725)". Katolsk. 1998-11-07. Archived from the original on March 16, 2005. Retrieved May 14, 2009.

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