Alas, a few years later, twenty at the most, norman invaders devastated Burgundy and set fire to the monks’ retreat. Saint-Vivant’s legend attributes this unfortunate event to chief Austin, a perfectly historical individual whose action must have taken place in the year 888 or in 891.
One insists upon the fact in order to establish the foundation of Saint-Vivant de Vergy around the year 890 because Manasses was thought to have welcomed the fugitive monks to his chateau.
The reality though seems a bit different. Manasses, the text tells us, after a life fully led during the century (he was one of Duke Richard the Peacemaker’s chief lieutenants) remembered his sins.
Upon the advice of his wife Ermengeard and his brother Gales, Bishop of Autun and of his numerous friends that he counted among the nobility, he began to build a new monastery in the diocese of Autun, in a well secured place on the hillside where the chateau de Vergy stands.
He had the relics of Saint-Vivant placed there along with the bodies of several other saints. This monastery was dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God and to the Blessed Vivant. Manasses died in 918. His brother Gales was Bishop of Autun from 894 until 919.Ermengeard outlived them a long time, l find it impossible to date precisely the year of the foundation of Saint-Vivant. The event took place between 894 and 918.