Catholic Encyclopedia – Saint Brieuc


(Briocus, Brioc, or Bru) A Celtic saint of Brittany who received his education in Ireland and then studied under Saint Germanus said to be the famous Saint Germanus of Auxerre. Much of what we read concerning his early years must be received with caution; indeed, Ussher asserts that he was of Irish birth, but it is tolerably certain that he returned to France early in 431, bringing with him Saint Iltud. Even before his ordination to the priesthood, Saint Brieuc worked several miracles duly chronicled in his “Acts” (edited by F. Godefrid Herschenn), and after a short period spent with his parents, he entered on his missionary career. In 480, he settled in Armorica, and founded a monastery at Landebaeron. Thence he proceeded to Upper Brittany where he established an oratory at a place ever since known as Saint Brieuc-des-Vaux, between Saint Malo and Land Triguier, of which he was named first bishop. Numerous miracles are cited in the “Acts”, especially his cure of Count Riguel, who gave the saint his own Palace of Champ-du-Rouvre as also the whole manorial estates. Authorities differ as to date of Saint Brieuc’s death, but it was probably in 502, or in the early years of the sixth century. He died in his own monastery at Saint Brieuc-des-Vaux and was interred in his cathedral church, dedicated to Saint Stephen. Baring-Gould says that Saint Brieuc is represented as “treading on a dragon”, or else “with a column of fire” as seen at his ordination. His relics were translated to the Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus of Angers in 865, and again, in a more solemn manner, on 31 July 1166. However, in 1210, a portion of the relics was restored to Saint Brieuc Cathedral, where the saint’s ring is also preserved. The festival of Saint Brieuc is celebrated on 1st May, but, since 1804, the feast is transferred to the second Sunday after Easter. Churches in England, Ireland, and Scotland are dedicated to this early Celtic saint.

MLA Citation

  • William Grattan-Flood. “Saint Brieuc”. Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913. CatholicSaints.Info. 29 December 2016. Web. 22 February 2019. <>