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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saint Britius, Bishop and Martyr, November 13

Saint Britius, Bishop and Confessor

Ss.Brice and Martin of Tours
Britius, also called Brice, was trained form childhood by Saint Martin of Tours in the monastery of Marmoutier. But in spite of his monastic profession, he became a passionate, arrogant, and avaricious priest ; and whenever his spiritual father Martin rebuked him, he retaliated with abuse and counter-accusations. However, when holy Martin was asked to depose him form the priesthood, he replied : If Christ bore with Judas, why not Martin with Brice? * For at times the young priest would return to Martin with a penitence as passionate as his rebellion had been. So that, in the long run, through the prayers and charity of Saint Martin, Brice reformed ; and when Martin died, he became bishop in his stead. Then began grievous trials for Brice ; and among other things he was unjustly charged with seducing a nun, and thereby forced out of his diocese. And although he vindicated himself form most of the charges, he patiently and cheerfully accepted exile at Rome as a penance for the many sins of arrogance and avarice of which he knew he had been guilty. * After almost twenty years of banishment and penance, when his successor in the See of Tours had died, the Pope ordered him to return and assume the office again. And so changed was he that his people knew him to be a Saint of God on earth. Thereupon he ruled his diocese for seven years ; and having built a church over the body of his beloved master Martin, he went to God, after an episcopate of forty-seven years, namely, in the year 444 ; and straitway his feast began to be kept at Tours, and afterwards throughout Europe.

Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God ; that the devout observance of this festival of blessed Britius, thy Confessor and Bishop, may be profitable unto us for our advancement in all godliness, and for the attainment of everlasting salvation, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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