Posted by: anna | December 29, 2011

St Judicael, king in Brittany

Today (16 December) in the calendar of early western saints we commemorate St Judicael. Judicael was a king (or prince, or duke) in (or of) Brittany. Can Wikipedia’s unfootnoted patronymic ‘ap Hoel’ refer to Hoel Mawr, ‘Hywel the Great’, Duke of Brittany and figure in the Arthurian legend? I don’t know. But with all the toing and froing between and among the Brythonic-speaking lands and particularly between Wales and Brittany, I wouldn’t be surprised… Judicael ruled wisely and justly, but eventually followed his vocation to the monastic life, handing over to his brother Judoc – who soon did the same.
This ‘History of the World in 100 Objects’ contributor identifies King Judicael and St Josse or Judoc, (feast day 13 December) as he is known in England/English, as the same person. There seems to be some confusion about quite how many brothers with very similar names handed the crown on to the next one in order to live a monastic or eremitic life! But the tradition is fairly strongly for two. I wonder… no I don’t really – but below are links for both Judicael and Josse, or Judoc.

troparion from Acathistes et offices orthodoxes:

Ton 5Tropaire à saint Judicaël, roi de Bretagne,(Natalice en 658 A.D.) 
Prince de Bretagne, tu donnas la couronne*
A tes frères et te retiras au monastère.*
Tu revins sur le trône et tu signas la paix*
Entre la Bretagne et le royaume des Francs,*
Puis tu t’en retournas à la vie monastique.*
Saint Judicaël, prie le Christ-Dieu pour nos âmes!

Troparion in tone 5 to St Judicael, king of Brittany (+658)
Prince of Brittany, you gave the crown
Over to your brothers, and withdrew to a monastery.
You came back to the throne and signed the peace
Between Brittany and the kingdom of the Franks,
And then returned to the monastic life.
Holy Josse,  intercede with Christ-God for our souls!

Judoc – celt-saints
Judicael – celt-saints
Judicael – Life in French
Judicael – wikipedia
Josse – Butler’s Lives of the Saints
Judoc – Baring Gould


Holy fathers Judicael and Judoc, pray to God for us.
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