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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume V: May. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

May 1

St. Brieuc, Bishop and Confessor

[In Latin, Briocus.]  HE was of an illustrious extraction in Great Britain, a native of the province called Coriticiana, which some take for Ceretica, now Cardiganshire: others for the Coretans, situated on the Trent, now in Staffordshire and Derbyshire: others will have it to be Cornwall. His father was called Cerpus, and his mother Eldrude. 1 St. Germanus of Auxerre, coming into Britain in 429, St. Brieuc, then about twenty years of age, became his disciple, and followed him back to France, where he was some time after promoted to priest’s orders. Returning afterwards into his own country he converted his parents, and, with their liberal assistance, built a famous church called Grande-Lann, and there trained up a great number of disciples. Several years after he passed into Armorica, where he landed at Achm, perhaps in the country of Achk, in the bishopric of Leon. In the territory of Treguier he converted from a worldly life a wealthy nobleman named Conan, by whose liberality he was enabled to build a monastery in the northern part of Armorica, which he governed some years. At length, appointing another abbot of the numerous community which he had formed, he repaired to his relation and friend, prince Riwallon, or Rigald, anciently prince of Domnonia, in Britain. This prince, who had lately settled with a colony of his British subjects in part of Armorica, gave to the saint a house and parcel of lands, where he built a monastery and a church, which was afterwards dedicated to God under the patronage of St. Stephen. The saint took upon him the government of this monastery, and departed to God in peace about the year 502, being upwards of ninety years old. His legend mentions not his episcopal character; but he is styled a bishop in an inscription on a marble stone, found in his shrine, in 1210. He seems to have been ordained a regionary bishop before he left Britain. The monastery of St. Brieuc, which was then grown into a considerable town, was only erected into a bishopric in 844. The relics of St. Brieuc, during the invasion of the Normans, were translated to the abbey of St. Sergius, at Angers, in 866, but a portion was restored to St. Brieuc’s in 1210. See Dom. Lobineau, Vies des Sts. de la Bretagne, p. 11, who recovered great part of his acts which Henschenius was not able to meet with. T. 1, Maij. p. 81  1
Note 1. Eldrude is not only a Saxon name, as Henschenius pretends, but also British, from Ell, the reduplicative proposition, and Drud which signifies illustrious, or well-beloved. [back]