Feast of St. Fulbert of Chartres (April 14)   Leave a comment

Above:  Tree of Jesse Window, Chartres Cathedral

SAINT FULBERT OF CHARTRES (952/962-1029)

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chartres

His feast transferred from April 10

The life of St. Fulbert of Chartres was intertwined with that of Gerbert, later Pope Silvester II (reigned 999-1003). Gerbert served as head of the cathedral school at Rheims in the 970s, when St. Fulbert was a student there and learned mathematics and philosophy from the schoolmaster.  Gerbert left Rheims to become Abbot of Bobbio, in Italy, but returned to Rheims in 984.  He became Archbishop of Rheims in 996, Archbishop of Ravenna in 998, and (the first French) Bishop of Rome in 999.  J. N. D. Kelly wrote that Silvester II

dazzled contemporaries by the versatility and brilliance of his intellect.  His reputation rests less on his work as a churchman than on his many-sided culture, especially in the fields of science,  music, and mathematics, but also in literature (e.g. the collection and preservation of manuscripts of classical Latin authors).  He was a pioneer of the abacus, terrestrial and celestial globes, and the organ.–The Oxford Dictionary of Popes (New York:  Oxford University Press, 1988, page 137)

That was an astounding company to keep.  Imagine the conversations!

The bond between Gerbert and St. Fulbert was such that the new Pope summoned the saint to Rome in 999.  There St. Fulbert remained until Silvester II’s death.  Then the saint accepted a position as chancellor at Chartres Cathedral.  He was familiar with that place, having founded (and headed) the cathedral school there and built it up into a a beacon of learning in Europe.  The student, like his teacher, was renowned as a scholar.  Then, in 1006, St. Fulbert accepted his final position, Archbishop of Chartres.  The cathedral burned down in 1020, prompting him to raise funds for the reconstruction.  St. Fulbert witnesses the beginning of the rebuilding, which concluded after he died.

St. Fulbert made other contributions to his society.  He advised secular leaders, opposed the selling of church offices, and encouraged Marian devotion.  Letters, hymns, poems, and sermons survive.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 29, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAINTS LYDIA, DORCAS, AND PHOEBE, COWORKERS OF THE APOSTLE PAUL

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANDREI RUBLEV, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX ICONOGRAPHER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS GENESIUS I OF CLERMONT AND PRAEJECTUS OF CLERMONTT, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS, AND AMARIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

THE FEAST OF SAINT GILDAS THE WISE, HISTORIAN AND ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Almighty God, you gave to your servant Saint Fulbert of Chartres

special gifts of grace to understand and teach the truth as it is in Christ Jesus:

Grant that by this teaching we may know you, the one true God,

and Jesus Christ whom you have sent;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Proverbs 3:1-7

Psalm 119:89-96

1 Corinthians 3:5-11

Matthew 13:47-52

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 721

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