Brieuc, St.

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Monk, founder and patron of the town of St. Brieuc, Brittany (Côtes-du-Nord); b. Cardigan, Wales, 410; d. St. Brieuc, 502. Born of pagan parents, Brieuc was converted at Verulam by (St.) Germanus of Auxerre and in 429 followed him to Gaul, where he was ordained. On returning to Wales, Brieuc worked among his compatriots, but in 480 had to flee before the Saxon invasion. With about 100 Christians he crossed La Manche and established himself in Armorican Brittany not far from Tréguier. There he converted a rich chieftan, Conan, and founded at Brieuc a monastery around which the town rose. If he was consecrated a bishop, he remained a bishop-abbot in the Celtic tradition, without administering the diocese. His relics were transported to St. Sergius in Angers during the Norman invasions, but were returned to St. Brieuc in 1210. Because of his charity, he is the patron of pocketbook makers. The city was erected into an episcopal see c. 848 by Nominoë, King of the Bretons; its cathedral was built in the 13th century over the foundations of the chapel Brieuc erected.

Feast: May 1.

Bibliography: Acta Santorum, May 1:9397. f. plaine, Analecta Bollandiana (Brussels 1882) 161190. h. waquet, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillat et al. (Paris 1912) 10:712713. l. duchesne, Fastes épiscopaux, de l'ancienne Gaule, 3 v. (2d ed. Paris 190715) 2:255, 262263, 300301. g. h. doble, Saint Brioc (Cornish Saints 17; Long Compton, Eng. 1928). r. aigrain, Catholicisme 2:267268.

[a. danet]