An orphan rescued by Saint Martin of Tours, and raised by Martin‘s clerics. Though ostensibly a spiritual student of Saint Martin, Brice became so wild, wicked, proud, ungrateful, and disorderly that some thought him possessed by a demon! He became a priest, but was a vain, ambitious one with contempt for Martin. Many advised Martin to kick him out, but Saint Martin said that if Jesus could deal with Judas, he could deal with Brice.
On Martin‘s death in 397, Brice was designated to succeed him as bishop of Tours, France. However, the people of the diocese revolted, substituted a priest named Justinian, and Brice left town to avoid a stoning.
Justinan held the see for over 30 years, during which Brice came to his senses, and began to lead a pious and admirable life. Formal ecclesiastical investigations cleared him of wrong doing, and he had the support of Pope Saint Zosimus. When Justinian died c.430, Brice returned to Tours to claim his seat. The locals, however, remembered him and his past, and ran him out of town again, taking a priest names Armentius as bishop.
When Armentius died in 437, Brice returned to Tours again to claim his proper place, this time preceded by the news of having led a better life during his 40 years of exile. He was allowed to stay, governed his diocese until his death, and his conversion had been so true and obvious that even his parishioners immediately proclaimed him a saint.
- Book of Saints, by the Monks of Ramsgate
- Catholic Online
- Golden Legend
- Lives of the Saints, by Father Alban Butler
- Our Sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Saints
- Roman Martyrology, 1914 edition
- “Saint Brice of Tours“. Saints.SQPN.com. 13 November 2013. Web. 17 April 2014. <>