Victricius of Rouen, St.

views updated


Bishop; b. c. 330; d. before 409. At 17 he enlisted in Roman military service, and later became a Christian. Upon renouncing military service he was flogged and sentenced to death, but was miraculously freed. Victricius then devoted himself to the study of philosophy and theology; he was chosen bishop of Rouen c. 380 while still a layman. He renewed ecclesiastical discipline, founded numerous parish churches in rural areas, promoted monastic life in his episcopal see, and acquired numerous relics for his cathedral from Italy. He met (St.) martin of tours and (St.) paulinus of nola in 386 and again about 395 in Chartres. He preached among the heathen tribes of Gaul in Artois, western Flanders, Hainaut, and Brabant. When his orthodoxy was impugned groundlessly, he went to Rome late in 403 to clear himself. There he met Emperor honorius and Pope innocent i who sent him a famous decretal on disciplinary matters dated Feb. 15, 404. He must have died before 409, since St. Paulinus in a letter to St. augustine in 409 named the eminent bishops of Gaul without mentioning Victricius. In 941 his relics were brought to the church of St. remigius in Braine (near Soissons). Here they were solemnly exalted in 1865.

Feast: Aug. 7.

Bibliography: e. vacandard. Saint Victrice, évêque de Rouen, IV eV e s. (Paris 1903). É. de moreau, Histoire de l'Église en Belgique, v.1 (2d ed. Brussels 1945). p. grosjean, Analecta Bollandiana 63 (1945) 9499.

[p. volk]