Tuesday, February 28, 2012


St. Bretannion
Feast day: January 25
Died: 380
++Bretannion of Tomi

Bishop of Tomi, Romania, on the Black Sea. He was exiled by Emperor Valens for opposing the Arian heresy. The people of Tomi, however, forced the emperor to restore him to his see.When Saint Bretannion bravely defended the divinity of Christ, the Arian Emperor Valens exiled him from his see of Tomi in Scythia on the Black Sea (near the mouth of the Danube). But Bretannion was so beloved by his flock that Valens was compelled by popular discontent to recall Bretannion

Saint Bretannio (Bretanion, Bretannion, Vetranio, Vetranion) was a bishop of Tomi (today ConstanĊ£a, Romania) during the fourth century. Of Cappadocian origin, he occupied the see of Tomi from 360.

According to Sozomen, during the campaign against the Goths in this region, the emperor Valens stopped at Tomi and urged the populace to convert to Arianism and reject the Nicene Creed. Bretannio spoke out against this and for this he was exiled. However, due to public outcry over the bishop’s exile, he was allowed to return.

Basil the Great requested of the ruler of Scythia Minor, Junius Soranus (Saran), that he should send him the relics of saints of that region. Basil was sent the relics of Sabbas the Goth in Caesarea, Cappadocia, in 373 or 374 accompanied by a letter, the 'Epistle of the Church of God in Gothia to the Church of God located in Cappadocia and to all the Local Churches of the Holy Universal Church'. The sending of Sabbas' relics and the writing of the actual letter has been attributed to Bretannio. This letter is the oldest known writing to be composed on Romanian soil and was written in Greek.

He may have represented Tomi at the council held in Constantinople in 381, but his name may have been confused with the name of the bishop Gerontius (Terentius) of Tomi, who may have been the actual participant at this council.Baronio, in compiling his martyrology, seems to have arbitarirly assigned him the feast day of January 25.

Bretannio is mentioned by Theodoret as well.

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