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Bible Dictionaries

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography


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Victricius, St., 8th archbp. of Rouen, friend of St. Martin of Tours (Sulpic. Sev. Dial. iii. 2; Boll. Acta SS. Aug. ii. 194) and St. Paulinus of Nola, to whose letters we owe some details of his life. He became bp. of Rouen before 390, and occupied himself with the conversion of the heathen Morini and Nervii in Flanders and Brabant. He was summoned in 394 or 395 to Britain to assist the bishops there in re-establishing peace, probably in their contest with Pelagianism (Victricius, Lib. de Laude SS. , Migne, Patr. Lat. xx. 443). An accusation of heresy, as it seems (cf. Ceillier, viii. 76), brought him to Rome at the close of 403 to defend himself before the pope (Paulinus, Ep. xxxvii. [36], Migne, Patr. Lat. lxi. 353). While there he received, in answer to a request for information, the famous letter of Innocent I. called the Liber Regularum , treating of various heads of ecclesiastical practice and discipline (Patr. Lat. lvi. 519). [INNOCENTIUS.] The church at Rouen flourished under his care. The relics he obtained, the musical services he instituted, and the devotion—under his guidance—of the virgins and widows, caused the city, hitherto unknown, to be spoken of with reverence in distant lands, and counted among cities famed for their sacred spots (Paulinus, Ep. xviii. § 5, Patr. Lat. col. 239). In 409 he was apparently dead ( Ep. xlviii. col. 398). (Migne, Patr. Lat. xx. 437, 438; Hist. Litt. ii. 752–754; Le Brun in Boll. Acta SS. u.s. ; Gall. Christ. xi. 7.)

An extant treatise or sermon called the Liber de Laude Sanctorum , composed on the occasion of the receipt of some relics from St. Ambrose of Milan, was formerly ascribed to St. Germanus of Auxerre (Hist. Litt. ii. 261, 750), but the discovery of a MS. at St. Gall, in the 18th cent., made it clear that it belonged to Victricius (see Praefatio of the abbé Lebeuf in Migne, Patr. Lat. xx. 437–442) It gives a few details of the condition of the church at Rouen. Paulinus had perhaps read this document ( Ep. xviii.).


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Victricius'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. 1911.

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