Saint Bracchio[1] /ˈbræki/ of Tours (or of Auvergne) (d. 576 AD) was an abbot. Bracchio had been a Thuringian[2] nobleman who had served in the court of Sigiswald of Clermont. Gregory of Tours writes that Bracchio’s name meant “bear’s whelp” in the Germanic language.[2]

Saint Bracchio
Died576 AD
Auvergne, France
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church
FeastFebruary 9

An avid hunter, Bracchio was one day pursuing a wild boar when the boar escaped into the hut of a Gallo-Roman[3] hermit named Emilian, who offered the huntsman some wild fruit.[4] Cowed by the hermit’s presence, Bracchio’s dogs refused to attack the boar.[3] Intrigued by the hermit and his apparent power, Bracchio and the hermit discussed spiritual matters.[2]

After the death of his lord Sigiswald,[4] Bracchio soon gave up his worldly life and became Emilian’s spiritual student for three years. Bracchio studied the golden letters on the images of the hermitage’s church and soon learned how to read,[2] and soon knew the psalter by heart.[4] The hermitage soon attracted other prospective students. After Emilian’s death,[5] Bracchio turned the hermitage, which Emilian had bequeathed to him,[4] into a monastery dedicated to Saint Saturninus (Saturnin).[6]

The grant of land for the new monastery was given to Bracchio by Ramichilde, the daughter of Sigiswald.[4] Bracchio subsequently became the abbot of Menat in the Auvergne, and re-established strict monastic discipline there.[3][4]


  1. ^ Also Brachio, Bracchion, or Braque.
  2. ^ a b c d Walter Goffart, Rome's Fall and After (Continuum, 1989), 288.
  3. ^ a b c Charles Forbes Montalembert (comte de), The Monks of the West from St. Benedict to St. Bernard, Volume 2 (Aurélien Courson (comte de), J.C. Nimmo, 1896), 203.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Paulist Fathers, Catholic World, Volume 36, 1883. Digitized November 2, 2007, p. 753.
  5. ^ Goyau, Georges. "Bordeaux." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 13 April 2020  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  6. ^ Dominique Branche, L'Auvergne au moyen âge. Avec un atlas (1842), 61.