Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint 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. Saint Germanus of Auxerre, coming into Britain in 429, Saint 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 Saint 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 Saint Brieuc, which was then grown into a considerable town, was only erected into a bishopric in 844. The relics of Saint Brieuc, during the invasion of the Normans, were translated to the abbey of Saint Sergius, at Angers, in 866, but a portion was restored to Saint Brieuc’s in 1210.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Brieuc, Bishop and Confessor”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 29 December 2016. Web. 17 May 2021. <>