jeudi 16 avril 2015

Saint FRUCTUEUX (FRUCTUOSUS) de BRAGA, archevêque et confesseur

Saint Fructueux de Braga

Évêque ( 665)


Il transforma la Galice espagnole en une véritable Thébaïde, à l'image des Pères du Désert. Son ascendant personnel était si grand que les disciples vinrent à lui très nombreux. Il fut ensuite appelé à devenir évêque de Braga au nord du Portugal.

À Braga au Portugal, vers 668, saint Fructueux, évêque, qui fut d’abord moine et fondateur de monastères, puis évêque et abbé de Dume, enfin établi par les Pères du dixième Concile de Tolède évêque métropolitain de Braga; il gouverna avec prudence son Église en même temps que ses monastères.

Martyrologe romain


St Fructueux de Braga (+665)

Fils d’un général de l’armée royale des Visigoths, à la mort de ses parents, il étudie la théologie au séminaire de Palence, puis distribue la majeure partie de son héritage aux pauvres, rachète la liberté de plusieurs esclaves et fonde plusieurs monastères. Il devient d’abord moine, puis ermite en Galicie. Sa réputation attire de nombreux disciples, pour qui il fonde plusieurs autres monastères, qu’il place sous la règle de St Benoît et dont il devient l’abbé. Il attire tellement de vocations que le roi est obligé d’intervenir pour imposer des limites, craignant de manquer d’hommes pour son armée. Quelque temps après, Fructueux émet le souhait de partir se retirer en Égypte. Le roi intervient à nouveau pour l’en empêcher, considérant que son départ aurait un impact trop important sur les populations. Fructueux est alors obligé d’accepter la charge d’évêque de Dumium, en 654, puis celle d’archevêque de Braga (Portugal) en 656.


St. Fructuosus of Braga
An Archbishop, d. 16 April, c. 665. He was the son of a Gothic general, and studied in Palencia. After the death of his parents he retired as a hermit to a desert in Galicia. Numerous pupils gathered around him, and thus originated the monastery of Complutum (Compludo) over which he himself at first presided, later, he appointed an abbot and again retired into the desert. In the course of time, he founded nine other monasteries, also one for 80 virgins under the saintly abbess Benedicta. In 654, Fructuosus was called to the Bishopric of Dumium, and on 1 December, 656, to the Archbishopric of Braga. The life of this greatest of Spanish monastic bishops was written by Abbot Valerius, and based on the accounts of his pupils. In 1102, his relics were transferred to Compostela. The feast day is the 16 of April. Fructuosus is depicted with a stag, which was devoted to him, because he had been saved by Fructuosus from the hunters. There are still extant two monastic rules written by Fructuosus. The first (25 chapters) was destined for the monastery of Complutum, it has an appendix (called pactum), containing the formulae of consecration and the vows. The second, called the "common" rule, which consists of chapters and refers to a union of monasteries governed by an abbot-bishop, is addressed chiefly to superiors of monasteries.
Meier, Gabriel. "St. Fructuosus of Braga." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 16 Apr. 2015 <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Joseph P. Thomas.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. September 1, 1909. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.

Fructuosus of Braga B Abbot (RM)

Born in Spain; died April 16, 665. Fructuosus was the son of a military officer belonging to the royal house of the Visigoths. His station in life would have called him to another vocation, but at the death of his parents he was at liberty to consecrate his life to divine service. After studying theology in the seminary established by the bishop of Palencia, Fructuosus sold his estates and distributed most of the proceeds among the poor, but saved a portion to establish monasteries. Freed of all ties, he became a monk, then a hermit in the Vierzo Mountains, where he was joined by crowds of disciples, whom he organized into the abbey called Complutum. Once the monastery was working well, he turned the abbacy over to other hands and retired again into the wilderness. We have two extant rules composed by Fructuosus: one called Complutum, the other the common rule. Whole families embraced his rule in community refuges, which he established based on the Rule of Saint Benedict. Eventually, Fructuosus was forced to accept the bishopric of Dumium, and later was consecrated archbishop of Braga, while wholly remaining a monk in spirit. His deathbed was a pile of ashes before the altar. The relics of Fructuosus are now venerated at Santiago de Compostella (Attwater, Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).


April 16

St. Fructuosus, Archbishop of Braga, Confessor

HE was a prince of the royal blood of the Visigoth kings in Spain; but, from his youth, desired to consecrate his life to the divine service in a holy retreat beyond the reach of that whirlpool of business, faction, pleasure, and sin, called the world. After the death of his parents, he found himself at large, and at full liberty to dispose of himself according to his desire. He therefore procured himself to be instructed in the sacred sciences, in the great school which the bishop of Palencia had established for the education of his clergy. He sold the greater part of his estate, and bestowed the whole price upon the poor, and with the rest founded several monasteries, especially a great one on his estate upon the mountains near Vierzo, under the title of SS. Justin and Pastor, martyrs of Complutum, or Alcala; whence he called this abbey Complutum. He put on the monastic habit, and governed this house as abbot till he saw it settled in good order. He then appointed another abbot, and retired into a wilderness, where he led a most austere life, clothed with the skins of beasts in imitation of the ancient hermits. He afterwards founded several other monasteries, and a great nunnery called None, because nine miles from the sea. We have two monastic rules compiled by him, the one called Of Complutum, the other the common rule. He was consecrated bishop of Duma, near Braga, and, in 656, archbishop of Braga. His innocence and virtue were no security from the shafts of envy: but he overcame injuries by meekness and patience: and died laid on ashes before the altar, as he desired, on the 16th of April, 665. His body now rests at Compostella. See his life wrote by a contemporary author in Mabillon, sæc. 2; Ben. Bulteau, Hist. de l’Ordre de St. Benoit. t. 1; and Henschenius, Apr. t. 2, p. 430.Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume IV: April. The Lives of the Saints.  1866.