Fulgenzio of Ruspe (Thelepte, 462, 467 ou 468- 1st January 527 or 533) was Bishop of the town of Ruspe, Roman province of Africa, today Henchir-Sbia in Tunisia, In Byzacène, he was canonized as a saint.
A Life of Saint Fulgence is preserved, written just after his death by a cleric of his circle, who had known him well (having accompanied him in his exile in Sardinia in 508, as he indicates in the prologue), hence the great historical value of this document. It is traditionally considered (since Pierre-François Chifflet) that the author of this Life is the deacon Ferrand of Carthage, from whom two letters addressed to Fulgence and his replies are preserved. But Antonino Isola (translator of the Life into Italian in 1987) has questioned this authorship, which is not based on any indication in the manuscripts.
Fabius Claudius Gordian Fulgence was born into a noble family in Carthage, a city separated from the Roman Empire some thirty years earlier by the Vandal conquest. Having become an orphan, his mother, Mariana, taught him Greek and Latin. He becomes prosecutor of the Byzantine. He soon grew tired of public life and, in particular, a sermon by Saint Augustine on Psalm 36, which deals with the ephemeral nature of physical life, determined him to become a monk at the age of 22.
He asked Faustus a bishop who, forced by the vandal king Hunèric to quit his diocese, founded a monastery in Byzacène, to take him as a novice.
New attacks in the region forced Fulgenzio to go to another Monastery whose abbot name is Felix. In 499, during persecution, They fleeing for Sicca Venetia. There, they proclaim the doctrine of Chalcedon about the double nature of Jesus. Hearing this, an Arian priest arrested them
After being released, Fulgencio came to Rome and returned to Byzacène, where he built a monastère. Fulgenzio reputation is spreading fast, he is often asked to become bishop of one of the many vacant dioceses, but the King Thrasamund reserve the position of Bishop only to the Arian.
Finally, in 508, accept to become a bishop of Ruspe, he is consecrated bishop by Victor de Vita. He made a strong impression on the faithful of his diocese by his evident virtues, but he was soon deported to Sardinia, along with about sixty other Orthodox bishops.
In Sardaigne, Fulgenzio transformed into a monastery a house of Cagliari and decided to write to help the Christian in Africa
In 515, he returned to Africa, having been called by Thrasamund for a public debate with his Arian replacements. His book "An Answer to Ten Grievances" is supposed to reproduce the answers given to their objections to Chalcedon's position. Thrasamund was impressed by Fulgence's knowledge and experience, but, not wanting his arguments to fall into the hands of his Arian subjects, he forbade him to write. Fulgence responds with a rebuttal of the Arian position, known as the "Three Books to King Thrasamund". Thrasamund allows Fulgence to remain in Carthage. But following complaints from the Arian clergy, he is banished to Sardinia in 520.
In 523, after the death of Thrasamund and the accession of his cousin Hilderic, Fulgence is allowed to return to Ruspe. He tries to bring the population back to Orthodox Christianity. He tries to reform many of the abuses that had spread in his diocese in his absence. The power and effectiveness of his preaching were so profound that the Bishop of Carthage, Boniface, publicly thanked God for giving him such a preacher.
Next time, Fulgenzio retired to a monastery on he island of Circinia. However, he is recalled to Ruspe, and stay there until his death on January 1, 533.