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St. Fructuosus of Braga

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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.

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