Ferreolus and Ferrutio

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Saint Ferreolus and Ferrutio
Saint Ferréol.jpg
Statue of Ferreolus of Besançon. Basilique Saint-Ferjeux, near Besançon.
Died ~AD 212
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church,
Eastern Orthodox Church
Major shrine Basilica of Saint-Ferjeux
Feast June 16
Patronage Besançon

Saints Ferreolus and Ferrutio (French: Ferréol and Ferjeux; Italian: Ferreolo e Ferruccio) (died ca. AD 212) are venerated as martyrs and saints by the Catholic Church.


Their legendary acts state that they were brothers converted to Christianity by Saint Polycarp.[1] They were ordained as priest and deacon, respectively, by Saint Irenaeus of Lyons. They were sent to the area around Besançon as missionaries. They are called natives of Asia Minor;[2] Alban Butler held it "more probable that they were natives of Gaul who had studied in Asia Minor and come under Christian influence."[1]

After working as missionaries amongst the Sequani for 30 years, in AD 212 during the persecution of Alexander Severus, they were arrested, tortured and beheaded.[3]


Statue of Ferrutio of Besançon. Basilique Saint-Ferjeux, near Besançon.

According to their legend, their relics were discovered in a cave near Besançon in AD 370 by a military tribune whose dog was chasing a fox. The relics were enshrined by Bishop Anianus of Besançon in the 4th century AD.[1] Saint Gregory of Tours writes that miracles were attributed to their relics in his time; he says that his brother-in-law was cured of a dangerous distemper at the saints' intercession.[2] The Missale Gothicum (ca. AD 700) contains a full proper of the Mass in their honor.[1] In the sixteenth century, they were invoked in Besançon against sickness, along with Saint Sebastian and Saint Roch.[4]

Ferreolus appears in a catalogue of the 17th century as a bishop of Besançon, but the liturgy of Besançon has always remembered Ferreolus as a priest, and Ferrutio as a deacon.[5] Ferreolus and Ferrutio, as patrons of Besançon, are considered to have appeared on the city walls in times of danger.[5] The two saints have been represented in stained glass, paintings, and statues in many churches and chapels in the two dioceses of the Franche-Comté: Saint-Claude and Besançon.[5]

The Basilique Saint-Ferjeux is situated in the neighborhood of Saint-Ferjeux, Besançon.

They are depicted on a French lantern slide dating from AD 1900.



  1. ^ a b c d Alban Butler; Paul Burns, Butler's Lives of the Saints (Continuum International, 2000), 117.
  2. ^ a b Rabenstein, Katherine (June 1998). "Ferreolus and Ferrutio MM (RM)". Saints O' the Day for June 16. Archived from the original on 2007-11-05. Retrieved 2007-12-10. 
  3. ^ "Latin Saints of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Rome", Orthodox Europe
  4. ^ "L'origine des maladies" (in French). Retrieved 2007-12-10. 
  5. ^ a b c Borrelli, Antonio (2003-02-06). "Santi Ferreolo e Ferruccio". Santi Beati (in Italian). Retrieved 2007-12-10. 

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