Lucius of Britain
name= Saint Lucius of Britain
Roman Catholic Church
diocese of Chur; diocese of Vaduz
major_shrine= cathedral of Chur
Saint Lucius was a legendary figure and mythical king of the Britons in the 2nd century AD. In
Geoffrey of Monmouth's "History of the Kings of Britain", he was the son of King Coilusand ruled in the manner of his father. Leaving no heir, his death led to a struggle between the people of Britain and the power of Rome.
Not appearing in any source dating back to
classical antiquity, he is most prominently mentioned in the Liber Pontificalis, Bede's " Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum" and Geoffrey of Monmouth's " Historia Regum Britanniae", none of which can claim high historical trustworthiness for the 2nd century. Later traditions are mostly based on one of these three accounts, probably including a medieval inscription at the church of St Peter upon Cornhillin Cornhill, Londonin the City of London. There he is credited with having founded the St Peter's in 179 AD. [http://www.ensignmessage.com/archives/celticorigins.html]
In spite of differences in the dating of the event, all of these sources tell of King Lucius becoming the first native
Christianin Britain after he invited Pope Eleuterusin a letter to send missionaries to Britain in order to Christianize the people. However, both "Lucius Britannius rex" and his letter to the pope are now generally considered as unhistorical.
The pope sent out Fuganus and Duvianus as missionaries and they converted St. Lucius, after which they began to establish a Christian order throughout Britain with great success. Throughout his reign, the missionaries converted old temples to churches and cathedrals. Also dioceses were established among the people.
Yorkbecame the centre for Albany and Deira, Londonbecame the centre for Loegriaand Cornwall, and Caerleonwas the centre for Cambria. The missionaries returned to Rome, then subsequently returned to Britain with more aides in order to establish a full order on the isle. Lucius assisted by giving lands to the church and helping convert the people.
feast dayis on 3 Decemberand he was canonizedthrough the pre-congregational method.
Veneration in Chur
The legendary first
bishop of Churand patron saint of the Grisons( Switzerland) was also named St. Lucius, with whom the British Lucius is not to be confused. It is possible, however, that the mentioning of St. Lucius of Britain in the Liber Pontificalissoon led to a scholarly identification of the otherwise somewhat shapeless patron saint with his more prominent British namesake. His supposed relics are still kept in the cathedralof Chur, although there is little doubt among scholars that the bishopric was only established some 150 years after its alleged founder was martyrised.
* [http://www.ensignmessage.com/archives/celticorigins.html The Origins of Celtic Christianity]
* [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0015-587X(1979)90%3A1%3C29%3ALOBAKA%3E2.0.CO%3B2-1 Alan Smith, 'Lucius of Britain: Alleged King and Church Founder', Folklore, Vol. 90, No. 1 (1979), pp. 29-36]
* [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0038-7134(194904)24%3A2%3C218%3ALCTIB%3E2.0.CO%3B2-F Homer Nearing, Jr., Local Caesar Traditions in Britain, "Speculum", Vol. 24, No. 2 (Apr., 1949), pp. 218-227]
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