Vetranion of Tomis

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Archbishop Vetranion of Tomis, also (Bretannio, Bretanion, Bretannione, and Vetranio, was the ruling bishop of Tomis, now Constanta in Romania, during the fourth century. His feast day is on January 25.[1]


Not much is known of the life of Abp. Vetranion. He was of Cappadocian origin and came to the see of Tomis about the year 360.[2]

According to Sozomen (a historian of the fifth century) during the Roman campaign against the Goths in the region of Scythia during the years 376-382, the emperor Valens stopped at Tomis about the year 368 and urged the populace to convert to Arianism and reject the Nicene Creed. Vetranion spoke out against this, and as a consequence he was exiled. However, the public outcry over the bishop’s exile, induced Valens to allow Abp. Vetranion to return.[3]

In 373 or 374, Basil the Great requested the ruler of Scythia Minor, Junius Soranus (Saran), to send to him relics of saints of that region. In response, Junius Soranus sent the relics of Sava the Goth to St. Basil in Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia, accompanied by a letter, the 'Epistle of the Church of God in Gothia to the Church of God located in Cappadocia and to all the Local Churches of the Holy Universal Church'. The translation of St. Savas' relics and the writing of the letter has been attributed to Abp. Vetranion. This letter, written in Greek, is the oldest known writing to be composed on what is now Romanian soil.

Abp. Vetranion may have represented Tomis at the Third Ecumenical Council in 381, but his name may have been confused with the name of the bishop Gerontius (Terentius) of Tomis, who may have been the actual participant at this council.

Cardinal Cesare Baronio, a ecclesiastical historian of the Roman Catholic Church of the sixteenth century, in compiling his martyrology, seems arbitrarily to have assigned Abp. Vetranion the feast day of January 25.


  1. Great Synaxaristes: (Greek) Ὁ Ἅγιος Βρετάννιος ὁ Ὁμολογητής. 25 Ιανουαρίου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.
  2. (Romanian) Vetranion - Dictionarul Teologilor Romani
  3. (Italian) Santi Beati: San Bretannione