Martin of Braga

bracara) (c.510/520-579. Archbishop and writer. Born in Pannonia (modern Hungary), he became a monk in Palestine and moved to Gallaecia in the NW part of Spain around 550. He established a quasi-eremitical monastery in Dumio and became its abbot, then was named bishop of Dumio in 561. Sometime before 572 he was elevated to be metropolitan of Bracara, the Suevian royal city, where he worked successfully to convert Arians, including the king whom he baptized in 556. A competent translator well trained in theology, Martin read and referred to the writings of Seneca, Augustine, Cassian, and Caesarius of Arles. One of his treatises, dedicated to King Miro (570-83), examined the four cardinal virtues on the basis of one of Seneca's lost works. A sermon titled De correctione rusticorum, composed for Bishop Polemius of Astorga, contributes much to the history of culture with its description of peasant superstitions. Well respected outside of Spain, he also composed works on canon law, liturgy, and the church calendar.