Feast of Sts. Drausinus, Ansericus, Vindician, and Leodegarius (March 7)   5 comments

Above:  Gaul in 628 C.E.

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT ANSERICUS (DIED 652)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Soissons

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SAINT DRAUSINUS (DIED CIRCA 674)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Soissons

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SAINT VINDICIAN (632-712)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Cambrai 

His feast transferred from March 9

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SAINT LEODEGARIUS (CIRCA 616-679)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Autun

His feast transferred from October 2

St. Drausinus received his education under St. Ansericus, Bishop of Soissons from 623 to 652.  (I can find no other information about St. Ansericus.)  St. Drausinus became Bishop of Soissons in 657.  He built convents and churches, and was known for his excellent preaching, his wise episcopal leadership, and his simple lifestyle.  St. Drausinus was also able to convince Ebroin, mayor of the Merovingian palace of Theodoric III, King of Neustria from 673 to 678 and King of all Franks from 678 to 691, to found a chapel for sick nuns.  This was quite an accomplishment, given Ebroin’s bad character.

Consider the following story as evidence of Ebroin’s perfidy:

We begin with St. Leodegarius, raised in the court of Cloatire/Lothair II, King of Neustria from 584 to 613 and King of all Franks from 613 to 629, was the nephew of Didon, Bishop of Poitiers, who also raised him and made him archdeacon.  In 651 St. Leodegarius became Abbot of Maxentius Abbey, to which he introduced the Rule of St. Benedict.  He also helped Queen Bathildis govern as regent for her young son, Clotaire/Lothair III, after her husband, Clovis II, died in 656.  St. Leodegarius became Bishop of Autun in 663.  It was a diocese rent asunder by disputes; he restored the see to wholeness.  The bishop also devoted much time to helping the poor.

The Merovingian Dynasty was frequently fractious, with surviving sons of a deceased king dividing the kingdom among themselves and not always exhibiting brotherly love.  Periodically one Merovingian monarch united the realm under his rule, only to have the unification reversed after he died.  This pattern created violent political waters to navigate, and more than one saint lost his life in them.  Clotaire/Lothair III died in 673, survived by two brothers.  Childeric II was King of Austrasia from 662 to 675, and Theodoric III was King of Neustria from 673 to 698.  Childeric II and Theodoric III engaged in a power struggle.  St. Leodegarius supported Childeric II, who reigned as King of all Franks from 673 to 675, until an assassination.  Ebroin, having lost to the forces of Childeric II, found himself exiled for a few years, during which St. Leodegarius functioned as a royal advisor.  Childeric II married a first cousin in 675, at which point St. Leodegarius condemned that union and received exile as a consequence.  Later that year, Theodoric III, the last brother left alive, recalled both St. Leodegarius and Ebroin.  The latter returned after arranging for the murder of his successor as mayor of the palace.

Also in 675, Ebroin convinced the Duke of Champagne and the Bishops of Chalons and Valence to attack Autun.  St. Leodegarius surrendered to spare the city.  Ebroin had the Bishop of Autun blinded, his lips cut off, and his tongue removed.  Three years later, Ebroin convinced Theodoric III that St. Leodegarius was responsible for the murder of Childeric II, with the help of the bishop’s brother, Gerinus.  So Theodoric III had Gerinus stoned to death and St. Leodegarius tortured.  Finally, in 679, St. Leodegarius was deposed formally then executed.

At this point we meet St. Vindician.  Born at Bullecourt, Francia, he was Bishop of Cambrai from 669 to his death, in 712.  As bishop St. Vindician was renowned for making many converts and founding monasteries.  Fellow bishops appointed St. Vindician to confront Theodoric III over the Gerinus-St. Leodegarius matter.  Theodoric III repented after his meeting with St. Vindician, funding St. Vaast Monastery, Arras, near the site of the murder of St. Leodegarius.   Ebroin, who lived by murder, died of an assassination in 680/681.  And St. Vindician died in 712, while visiting Brussels.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 13, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ELLA J. BAKER, WITNESS FOR CIVIL RIGHTS

THE FEAST OF SAINT LUCY OF SYRACUSE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

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Almighty God,

you raised up faithful bishops of your church,

including your servants

Saint Ansericus,

Saint Drausinus,

Saint Leodegarius,

and Saint Vindician.

May the memory of their lives be a source of joy for us and a bulwark of our faith,

so that we may serve and confess your name before the world,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84

1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21

John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

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Revised on December 24, 2016

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