ST. FRUCTUOSUS, ARCHBISHOP OF BRAGA, C.
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 greatest 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 written 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.