Valerius, moved by the godly zeal of Augustine, joined him with himself as an assistant in his duties of Bishop. He was lowly and pure in the highest degree. His furniture and dress were plain, and his food of the commonest sort, which he always seasoned when at table by either reading some religious book, or arguing upon some religious subject. His tenderness to the poor was such that, failing all other resources, he broke up the hallowed vessels to relieve their wants. It was his rule not to dwell or be very close friends with any woman, a rule which he did not relax even in the case of his sister and niece, for he was accustomed to say, that although no scandal could arise in the case of such near kinswomen, yet it might arise concerning the women friends who sought their company. He never ceased to preach the Word of God, until he was disabled by heavy sickness. He was always an hard follower after heretics, and by his words and his writings never them suffered them to rest anywhere. In great measure he purged Africa of the Manicheans, Donatists, Pelagians, and other heretics.
He wrote so much, and that with such godliness and understanding, that he is to be held among the very chiefest of them by whom the teachings of Christianity have been shewn forth. He is one of the first of those whom later theologians have followed, in method, and in argument. He fell sick of a fever what time the Vandals were laying Africa waste, and when they were busy in the third month of besieging Hippo. When he understood that his departure from this present life was at hand, he caused the Psalms of David which most speak the language of repentance to be placed before him, and read them with tears, for he was wont to say that even if a man's conscience were to accuse him of no sin, he should not dare to leave this world except as a penitent. His senses remained vigorous to the last, and it was while rapt in prayer, in the presence of the brethren whom he had exhorted to love, godliness, and all goodness, that he departed for heaven. He lived 76 years, whereof he had been a Bishop nearly thirty-six. His body was first carried to Sardinia, but Luitprand, King of the Lombards, afterwards bought it for a great price, and took it to Pavia, where it is honourably buried.