Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

(OWEN; DADON, Latin Audaenus ).

Archbishop of Rouen, b. at Sancy, near Soissons about 609; d. at Clichy-la-Garenne, near Paris, 24 Aug., 683. His father, Autharius, and his mother, Aiga, belonged to the Gallo-Roman race. Shortly after Ouen's birth they came to Ussy-sur-Marne, where he spent his childhood, with which tradition connects a series of marvellous events. Being afterwards sent to the Abbey of St. Medard he received an education which caused him to be welcomed at the court of Clothaire II a short time previous to the death of that prince. The latter's successor, Dagobert I, made him his referendary or chancellor and profited greatly by his talents and learning. He charged him with important missions and, it is believed, with compiling the Salic Law. St. Ouen found at the royal court Eloi (Eligius), another holy person, whose life was very similar to his own. Both of them, despite the disorders of the Frankish king, served him faithfully. But when Dagobert was dead, they considered themselves released from all secular duties, and leaving the court they devoted themselves in seclusion to the theological studies which attracted them.

St. Ouen, who in 634 founded the Abbey of Rabais, was ordained priest by Dieudonne, Bishop of Mâcon. Some time later his virtues and great ability marked him out for the archepiscopal see of Rouen, left vacant by the death of St. Romain. Elected in 639 he was consecrated at Rouen, 21 May, 640, with his friend St. Eloi, who became Bishop of Moyon. The Diocese of Rouen, in which there were still barbarian districts from which paganism had not disappeared, was transformed under the administration of St. Ouen who caused the worship of false gods to cease, founded numerous monasteries, and developed theological studies. Occasionally the statesman reappeared in St. Ouen. For instance he upheld Ebroin the mayor of the palace in his strife against the aristocracy. After Ebroin's death, at the invitation of Thierry I he went to Cologne and succeeded in restoring peace between Neustria and Austrasia. Shortly after he was attacked by the illness to which he succumbed. His body, which was brought to Rouen and interred in the Abbey of St. Pierre which thenceforth assumed his name, was translated several times, in 842, 918, and finally in 1890. St. Ouen, who survived St. Eloi, wrote the life of his friend. This biography, which is one of the most authentic historical monuments of the seventh century, contains a store of valuable information regarding the moral and religious education of that time. It was published for the first time by Dom Luc d'Achery in vol. V of his "Spicilegium".


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Samuel 1:24-28
24 When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, ... Read More

Psalm, First Samuel 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8
1 Hannah then prayed as follows: My heart exults in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:46-56
46 And Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Chaeromon
December 22: Bishop of Nilopolis, in Egypt. When the persecution was ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter