(Lat. Audenus), a French prelate, noted for his civil ministrations to king Dagobert, and highly esteemed by that monarch, was born at Sancy, near Soissons, in 609. He was brought up at Ussy-sur-Marne, of which his parents were lords. After studying in the monastery of St. Medard, he received an office at the court of king Clothaire II. Under Dagobert. I, St.
Ouen and St. Eloi, afterwards bishop of Noyon, became the principal ministers of the nation, St. Ouen holding the position of chancellor. But notwithstanding the onerous civil duties thus imposed upon these excellent men, they labored zealously for the spiritual welfare of the people. St. Ouen in particular greatly profited by his intimate association with St. Eloi, and by his advice founded, in 634, the abbey of Rebais, in the diocese of Meaux. Some time after St. Ouen entered the Church himself, and was ordained priest by Dieudonnd, bishop of Macon. On his return from a mission to Spain he was made archbishop of Rouen. He is generally believed to have been installed May 21, 640, the same day on which St. Eloi was made bishop of Noyon and of Tournai. The diocese of Rouen, which yet contained many very uncivilized districts, gained greatly under the government of Ouen. He took part in the council of Chalons-sur- Saone, Oct. 25, 644. Pope Martin I having in 651 requested of king Clovis II some of his most learned bishops to be sent as legates to Constantinople to inquire into the question of monothelism, St. Ouen and St. Eloi were designated for that purpose, but, for reasons unknown at present, they did not go on that journey. After the death of Ebroin, king Thierri I, at the suggestion of the new mayor of the palace, Warato, sent St. Onen to Cologne to negotiate peace with Pepin, duke of Austrasia. The bishop proved successful in this undertaking, but died soon after his return at Clichy-la-Garenne, Aug. 24, 683. His body was transported to Rouen, and buried in the church which now bears his name. Ouen wrote a Vita Eligii, which may be considered as one of the most valuable documents we possess for the history of the 7th century. MS. copies of it were preserved in many churches and monasteries. It was first published by Surius, but with many omissions. D'Achery having found two MS. copies — one in the library of the abbey of Corbie, the other in that of Conches, in Normandy — carefully compared them, and published the complete work of Ouen in the fifth volume of his Spicileg in 1661. Ghesquiere also published the Vita Eliqii, revised by means of MSS. from the collections of the Bollandists at Antwerp, in the Acta Sanct. Belgii, 3:294-331. It was translated into French, from these various editions, by Louis de Montigny, archdeacon of Noyon (Paris, 1626, 8vo); also anonymously (by Levesque, a priest) — (ibid. 1693, 8vo); by Charles de Barthelemy (ibid. 1847, 8vo); and by abbot Parenty, canon of Arras (Arras, 1851, 12mo). These two latter translations are accompanied with very instructive and learned notes. A life of St. Remy, in MS., preserved in the abbey of St. Gall, is also attributed to Ouen. See Gallia Christiana, vol. xi; Hist. littr'. de la France, 3:623-628;
Pommeraye, Hist. de 'abbaye de St. Ouen; Hist. des archives de Rouen; France pontificale; Le Cointe, Ann. eccl. de France; Student's History of France, p. 47; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 38:978.