Saint Fructuosus of Braga

Saint Fructuosus of BragaMemorial


Son of a Gothic general, and member of a noble military family. Studied at the seminary in Palencia. From an early age, Fructuosus felt a call to the religious life. Orphaned when young. When he came of age, Fructuosus gave away his family fortune to the poor, bought the freedom of slaves, and founded several monasteries. By 647 he had founded houses in Lusitania, Asturia, Spanish Galicia, and the island of Gades.

Feeling that he lacked contact with God, Fructuosus left the houses and friends, and became a hermit in the desert of Galacia. His reputation for holiness and wisdom attracted students, sometimes entire families. He built monasteries for them, placed them under the Benedictine Rule, and served as abbot. He attracted so many disciples that the king limited the number of men who could join; he feared there would not be enough young men to man the army.

Again feeling that the outside world was taking too much of this time, Fructuosus planned to flee further into the wilderness, this time to the deserts in Egypt. However, the king got word of the plan, decided too many people depended on his leadership, and ordered him not to leave the country. Bishop of Dumium in 654. Archbishop of Braga, Portugal in 656. Wrote two monastic rules, one of which was designed to allow families to remain together, yet live monastic lives.





  • monk with a stag, which relates to a story that he saved one from hunters, and it became a devoted pet


One day he was going through a forest, when a roe, pursued by hunters, took refuge under his cloak. The Saint took the animal under his protection, and brought it to the monastery. The grateful beast never quitted his liberator; it followed him about all day, slept at his feet at night, and never ceased to cry when he was absent. More than once he had it taken back to the forest, but it always found the track of its deliverer’s footprints. At last it was one day killed by a young man who disliked monks. Fructuosus was absent for a few days, and on his return he was surprised not to see his roe run to meet him, and when he heard that it was dead, he was overcome with grief, his knees trembled, and he prostrated himself on the floor of the church. It is not related whether this was to ask God to punish the cruel man; but the latter soon fell ill, and sent for the Father to come to his assistance. Fructuosus took the revenge of a noble Visigoth and Christian. He cured the murderer of his roe, and restored him to health both of soul and body. It is related of him that, wishing to escape the homage of the people, he retired into the depth of the forest, and that the jays which he had brought up in the monastery sought him out and betrayed the place of his retreat by the joyous chattering with which they greeted him. Fructuosus is painted with a roe and jays as his emblems. – from “The Little Bollandists” by Monsignor Paul Guérin, 1882

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Fructuosus of Braga“. CatholicSaints.Info. 15 May 2020. Web. 15 June 2021. <>