Praetextatus of Rouen, St.

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Archbishop; d. Rouen, France, April 14 or Feb. 25,586. Raised to the episcopacy (c. 544), Praetextatus (or Prix) assisted at the synods of Tours (567) and Paris (55673). His interference in affairs of state, justifiable or not, earned him the personal hatred of Chilperic and Fredegund and involved him in the political intrigue of his day. At a synod held in Paris (577), he was accused by Chilperic of treasonable activities, deposed, and placed in confinement on an island in the neighborhood of Coutances. gregory of tours was the only bishop at the synod who spoke in his defense. After Chilperic's death (584), Praetextatus was recalled and honorably reinstated, despite the vigorous opposition of Fredegund. In 585 he assisted at the synod of Mâcon. The following year, at the instigation of Fredegund, he was murdered in his cathedral.

Feast: Feb. 24.

Bibliography: gregory of tours, Historia Francorum, 5:18; 7:16; 8:20, 31, 41; 9:20, 39. Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum (Berlin 1826) 1.1:216217, 337, 387, 397, 407, 440, Eng. tr. o. m. dalton, 2 v. (Oxford 1927). Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Concilia (Berlin 1826) 1:135, 145, 151, 172, 174. e. vacandard, Vie de Saint Ouen (Paris 1902) 9697. l. duchesne, Fastes épiscopaux de l'ancienne Gaule, 3 v. (2d ed. Paris 197015) 2:206. c. j. von hefele, Histoire des conciles d'après les documents originaux, tr. and continued by h. leclercq, 10 v. in 19 (Paris 190738) 3.1:3334. j. l. baudot and l. chaussin, Vies des saints et des bienheureux selon l'ordre du calendrier avec l'historique des fêtes, 12 v. (Paris 193556); v. 13, suppl. and table générale (1959) 2:507511. h. leclercq, Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, ed. f. cabrol, h. leclercq, and h. i. marrou, 15 v. (Paris 190753) 15.1:120121.

[g. m. cook]