Saint Brioc (Breton: Brieg; Welsh: Briog; Cornish: Breock; French: Brieuc; died c. 502) was a 5th-century Welsh holy man who became the first abbot of Saint-Brieuc in Brittany.[1] He is one of the seven founder saints of Brittany.[2]

Saint Brioc
Saint Brieuc.jpg
Born5th century
Ceredigion, Wales
Diedc. 502
St Brieuc-des-Vaux, Brittany
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Anglican Communion
Major shrineSt Brieuc-des-Vaux
Feast1 May


Very little is known about Brioc's early life, as his 9th century Acta is not altogether reliable. It states that he came from Ceredigion where the church at Llandyfriog was originally dedicated to him.[3] He received his education in Ireland and then studied under Germanus of Auxerre. He is believed to have spent time at Rothesay on the Isle of Bute in Scotland, where a church was dedicated to him and his name was commemorated in the annual St. Bruix Fair.[4] He most likely returned to France early in 431, accompanied by Saint Illtud.[1]

In 480, he settled in Armorica, and founded a monastery at Landebaeron. He then traveled to Upper Brittany where he established an oratory at St Brieuc-des-Vaux, between St. Malo and Land Triguier, where he eventually became the abbot of a monastery.[1]

Authorities differ as to date of Saint Brioc's death, but it was probably in 502, or in the early years of the sixth century. He died in his own monastery at St. Brieuc-des-Vaux and was interred in his cathedral church, dedicated to Saint Stephen. Rothesay, Bute


His Acta cites numerous miracles, especially his cure of Count Riguel, who gave the saint his own Palace of Champ-du-Rouvre as also the whole manorial estates.[1] He is represented as treading on a dragon or presented with a column of fire as seen at his ordination.

Saint Brioc's relics were moved 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 St. Brieuc Cathedral, where the saint's ring is also preserved.[1]

In honour of Saint Brioc's link between Ceredigion and Brittany, the town of St Brieuc has been twinned with Aberystwyth since 1974[5] and a road, Boulevard St Brieuc, is located in the town.

His feast day is 1 May. The festival of Saint Brioc was celebrated on 1 May, but in 1804, the festival has been held on the second Sunday after Easter. Churches in England, Ireland, and Scotland are dedicated to this early Celtic saint,[1] including the parish church of St Breock in Cornwall.[6]

He is considered the patron saint of pursemakers.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f Grattan-Flood, William. "St. Brieuc." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 19 Jan. 2014
  2. ^ Mooney, Ambrose. "St. Brioc the Traveller, Bishop of Brittany". Celtic Saints. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  3. ^ Woods, J Douglas; Pelteret, David A E (1986). The Anglo Saxons: Synthesis and Achievements. Canada: Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press. p. 84. ISBN 9780889201668.
  4. ^ McDowall, David (2010), Bute, The Laird Press, Surrey
  5. ^ Price, Kevin Roy. "Town Twinning - Aberystwyth Council". Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  6. ^ Cornish Church Guide (1925) Truro: Blackford; p. 64
  7. ^ Dictionary of Christianity; edited by J. C. Cooper; 2013; p. 36

  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "St. Brieuc". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.