Saint Exuperius of Bayeux
(Exupère), also known as Spirius
(Spire, Soupir, Soupierre
), is venerated as the first bishop of Bayeux
. The date of his episcopate is given as 390 to 405, but local legends made him an immediate disciple of St. Clement
, who lived during the first century
, and that St. Regnobertus
was Exuperius' disciple. This legend was found in breviaries
of the fifteenth century
. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia
, “the Bollandists
and M. Jules Lair found little ground for this legend; it was only towards the middle of the fourth century that St. Exuperius founded the See of Bayeux; after him the priest St. Reverendus
worked to spread Christianity
in these parts.” As Henry Wace writes, “this is only an instance of the tendency of the Gallic churches to claim an apostolic or subapostolic origin.”.
In the times of the invasion of the Vikings Exuperius’ relics were translated from Bayeux, and eventually were deposited at Corbeil; the Saint-Spire cathedral in Corbeil-Essonnes is dedicated to him.
He is sometimes called a bishop of Corbolium (Corbeil) as a result of this translation.