BRAGA Portugal

I. City – II. Councils. I. City. Ancient Braccara in Hispania Citerior; capital of the province of Gallaecia after Diocletian’s division. At the beginning of the 5th c. with the Germanic invasions, Braga was incorporated into Suevian territory as the capital of the Suevian kingdom. In 456 it was taken temporarily and sacked by the Visigoth Theodoric II and was under Visigothic rule from 585 to the Muslim invasion. In the mid-3rd c. a flourishing Christian community existed in neighboring Astorga, suggesting that Christianity had already arrived in Braga as well. The tradition that the apostle James preached the gospel in Braga after landing in a neighboring town is pure legend. The first concrete information we have attests the presence of Christianity ca. 400, at which time there was already an organized community, since the city’s bishop, Paternus consecrated by the Priscillianist Symposius of Astorga, whose faith he too professed but abandoned after reading Ambrose attended the I Council of Toledo, which allowed him to keep his see. Priscillianism was still causing problems at the I Council of Braga 561. Famous Bragans were Paul Orosius, historian and friend of Augustine, and the two Aviti, travelers and importers of Christian, esp. Origenist, culture in the late 4th and early 5th c. From the mid 6th c. Braga was metropolitan see of the province, a privilege shared for some time with Lugo, due to the enlargement of the territory by Suebi’s conquests to the south. Braga flourished esp. under its bishop St. Martin. When the abbotbishop of Dumium was called to the see of Braga, he remained bishop of both sees. Bishops: Paternus 400; Balconius contemporary of Pope Leo I; Profuturus ca. 538; Lucretius d. 561; St. Martin 572580; Pantardus 580589; Julian 633638; Potamius 653656, the year in which he was deposed; Fructuosus 656; Leodegisius Julianus 675; Liuva 681; Faustinus 687693; Felice 693; Fidesind d. 745, but always resident at Lugo. II. Councils. 561, provincial. Held by order of the Suevian king Ariamirus. Metropolitan Lucretius presided over seven other bishops and other representatives of the clergy. They published 17 doctrinal and disciplinary anathemas directed against Priscillinianism and 22 canons; some of the canons refer to clergy, and the rest attempt to give uniformity to liturgical discipline.

572, provincial. Presided over by St. Martin of Dumium. 5 suffragan bishops of Braga attended, along with Nitigisius, metropolitan of Lugo and 5 other suffragans. They read the acts of the first council of Braga and a text of 1 Pet, and issued 10 canons on economic matters, the reputation of clerics and liturgical rules. 675, provincial. Metropolitan Leodegisius presided over 7 other bishops. After reciting the Nicene-Constantinopolitan creed with the addition of the filioque, they issued 8 canons to correct a series of abuses, esp. liturgical, among higher clergy. Mansilla, Geograf­a I, 149-152; 192-212; 217-221; J. Augusto Ferreira, Fastos episcopales da Igrejia primacial de Braga, Braga 1950; E. Fl³rez, ES 15; Vives, Concilios, 65-67; 78-106; 370-379; Orlandis, Concilios, 138-159; 391-395.

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