Home  »  Volume VII: July  »  St. Bertran, Bishop of Mans

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

July 3

St. Bertran, Bishop of Mans

HE 1 seems to have been born in Poitou, and having dedicated himself to the service of the church, he received the tonsure in the city of Tours. St. Germain, bishop of Paris, invited him to his diocess, formed him to virtue, and, in token of esteem for his merit, made him his archdeacon. After the death of Baldegisil, an unworthy prelate, who sought only to enrich himself by the spoils of his church, St. Bertran was chosen his successor in the diocess of Mans in 586. At first he met some opposition from the corrupt manners of his people, but zealous endeavours to restore them to virtue had soon the deserved success. By his prudence he saved the state from a war which threatened it from Waroc and Windimacle, princes of Brittany. He was called to the court of Gontran, king of Orleans and Burgundy, to negotiate certain interesting matters regarding the church. He built, endowed, and repaired a great number of hospitals and churches. His will, which he made in 615, is an esteemed piece of church-antiquity. In it are many considerable legacies to churches and monasteries. But what is singularly remarkable, we see by it, that the holy bishop enjoyed on every occasion the favour and protection of Fredegonda. During the troubles occasioned by the civil wars in France, St. Bertran was three several times banished from his diocess. This introduced many disorders among his people, which he happily removed with the assistance of Clotaire, who, after long struggles, at length united to his kingdom those of Burgundy and Austrasia. It is believed that he died the 30th of June, 623. But he is honoured on the 3rd of July, being the day on which his relics were translated. See St. Gregory of Tours, Hist. l. 8. c. 39. and l. 9. c. 18; and the saint’s will, published with excellent notes by Papebroke, 6 Jun. and Baillet, under the 3rd of July.  1
Note 1. In Latin Berti Cramnus, Bertrannus; not Betrandus. [back]