Archive for the ‘Charlemagne’ Tag

Feast of Sts. Adelard of Corbie and Paschasius Radbertus (April 26)   2 comments

Above:  Europe in 814

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT ADELARD OF CORBIE (CIRCA 752-JANUARY 2, 827)

Frankish Roman Catholic Monk and Abbot

Also known as Saint Adalard of Corbie, Saint Adalhard of Corbie, and Saint Adelhard of Corbie

His feast transferred from January 2

mentor of

SAINT PASCHASIUS RADBERTUS (CIRCA 790-CIRCA 860)

Frankish Roman Catholic Monk, Abbot, and Theologian

His feast = April 26

One of my critiques of ecclesiastical saints is that they frequently make understanding a particular saint’s life unduly difficult by not combining commemorations.  I understand that some choppiness is a virtue in ecclesiastical calendars of saints.  Consider these two saints, however, O reader.  Merging the Feast of St. Paschasius Radbertus with that of his mentor, St. Adelard of Corbie, improves comprehension of the former and the latter.  Observing two saints together is rarely excessive.

These two men were Frankish saints.  Monarchs of the Carolingian Dynasty influenced their lives greatly and defined their times and political realities.

St. Adelard of Corbie, born circa 752, came from a prominent family.  His grandfather was Charles Martel (circa 688-741) and his uncle was King Pepin III “the Short” (714-768; reigned 751-768).  Our saint grew up in the royal court in Aachen, mostly during the reign of Charles I/Charlemagne, King of the Franks (768-814) and Holy Roman Emperor (800-814).  St. Adelard left the royal court in 773, to become a Benedictine monk at Corbie Abbey in Picardy.  He, a student of St. Alcuin of York/Tours (circa 730-804), eventually became the Abbot of Corbie.  St. Adelard advised his kinsmen, Charlemagne and Louis the Pious/Fair/Debonair (reigned 813-840), and tutored another kinsman, Bernard (d. 818), nephew of Louis.  Bernard was the King of Italy (810-817) under Charlemagne and Louis.

Imperial politics led to St. Adelard’s brief exile.  Bernard, King of Italy, rebelled against his uncle.  The rebellion failed in 817, and Louis was directly responsible for Bernard’s death the following year.  Louis also sent St. Adelard, allegedly a supporter of the rebellion, into exile in 817.  More likely, St. Adelard was solely guilty to having been Bernard’s tutor.  Our saint found peace during his exile at Hére (now Noirmoutier-en-l’Île); the isolation provided solitude.  Eventually, Louis permitted St. Adelard to return to Corbie Abbey.

St. Paschasius Radbertus, born circa 790, grew up in the Church, literally.  Monks at Soissons raised him, left as a foundling, after nuns found him.  Our saint was an undisciplined youth, despite the best efforts of the monks.  He calmed down eventually, though.  By 822, St. Adelard had returned to Corbie Abbey.  That year, St. Paschasius Radbertus became a monk at Corbie Abbey.  Our two saints and Wala, who had become the Abbot of Corbie after St. Adelard had gone into exile, founded New Corvey Abbey in Saxony in 822.  St. Adelard taught and mentored St. Paschasius Radbertus for years.

St. Adelard died at Corbie Abbey on January 2, 827.  Pope John XIX canonized him in 1026.

St. Paschasius Radbertus made his mark on Corbie Abbey.  He transformed the abbey school into one of the best and most famous educational institutions in Europe.  Our saint also served as the novice master.  He, a deacon, succeeded to the abbotcy against his will in 844.  Seven years later, as part of the resolution of a dispute, our saint resigned.  He had already become a respected and famous peacemaker, traveling across Europe and resolving political and religious disputes.

While at Corbie Abbey, St. Paschasius Radbertus taught and mentored another eventually canonized saint, St. Ansgar/Anskar (801-865), Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen.

The former abbot happily became a hermit at St. Riquiet Monastery, Cenula.  He wrote then wrote then wrote some more.  St. Paschasius Radbertus wrote historical, theological, and philosophical works.  He wrote commentaries on Matthew, Lamentations, and Psalm 44.  Our saint composed a biography of St. Adelard of Corbie.  St. Paschasius Radbertus also wrote in defense of the perpetual virginity of St. Mary of Nazareth.

Most importantly, St. Paschasius Radbertus wrote The Body and Blood of Christ (831), about Transubstantiation.  He wrote it for a student, Placidus Varinus, Abbot of New Corvey, and for the monks there.  This text sparked a controversy that started in 844 and lasted for centuries.  Our saint stood in line with the Church Fathers regarding Transubstantiation; he was orthodox.  However, he chose some words poorly, hence the controversy.  Pope Sylvester II (circa 945-1003; in office 999-1003) defended St. Paschasius Radbertus.  The controversy eventually resulted in a precise definition of Transubstantiation.

St. Paschasius Radbertus died circa 860.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 12, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS TRASILLA AND EMILIANA; THEIR SISTER-IN-LAW, SAINT SYLVIA OF ROME; AND HER SON, SAINT GREGORY I “THE GREAT,” BISHOP OF ROME

THE FEAST OF JOHN H. CALDWELL, U.S. METHODIST MINISTER AND SOCIAL REFORMER

THE FEAST OF SAINT MAXIMILLIAN OF TREVESTE, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 295

THE FEAST OF RUTILIO GRANDE, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1977

THE FEAST OF SAINT THEOPHANES THE CHRONICLER, DEFENDER OF ICONS

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O God, by whose grace your servants

Saints Adelard of Corbie and Paschasius Radbertus,

kindled with the flame of your love,

became a burning and a shining light in your Church:

Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline,

and walk before you as children of light;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Acts 2:42-47a

Psalm 133 or 34:108 or 119:161-168

2 Corinthians 6:1-10

Matthew 6:24-33

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 723

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Feast of St. Paulinus II of Aquileia (January 11)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Paulinus II of Aquileia

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT PAULINUS II OF AQUILEIA (CIRCA 726-JANUARY 11, 802/804)

Roman Catholic Patriarch of Aquileia

Also known as Saint Paulinus of Aquileia

Alternative feast days = January 28, February 9, and March 2

I include “II” in this saint’s name for the sake of accuracy.  The historical record tells of Paulinus I of Aquileia, who served as the first Patriarch of Aquileia from 557 to 571.

St. Paulinus II of Aquileia was a bishop, a scholar, a poet, a missionary, and a defender of theological orthodoxy.  He, born circa 726 in Cividale, when the Lombards ruled that part of the Italian peninsula, received a fine education in pagan and Christian classics.  During the lifetime of St. Paulinus II, the Roman Empire, with its capital at Constantinople, survived in the East.  The dominant power in the West was the Frankish Kingdom/Carolingian Empire, the most famous ruler of which was Charles the Great (Charlemagne, in Latin), who reigned from 768 to 814.  His realm was an antecedent to modern-day nation-states such as France and Germany; his territory ranged from northern Spain into central Europe and into northern Italy.

The patronage of Charlemagne made the career of St. Paulinus II possible.  St. Paulinus II, a priest, was also a scholar of the Bible, theology, and patristics.  He was the kind of man Charlemagne wanted to hire to participate in the Carolingian Renaissance.  From 776 to 786 St. Paulinus II was the Master of Grammar in the court at Aix-en-Chapelle.  Our saint mentored other key figures of the Carolingian Renaissance.  One of these, St. Alcuin of York (c. 735-804), a friend of our saint, guided the rebirth of education in much of the Carolingian Empire.

The final job title of St. Paulinus II was Patriarch of Aquileia.  Charlemagne secured that position for him in 787, after the previous Patriarch had died.  Aquileia was a village on the Adriatic coast of Italy, but the basilica was there and the patriarchate was prestigious.  St. Paulinus II established his headquarters in Cividale instead.  Our saint was active in arguing against Adoptionism, which originated in Spain in the 700s.  The Adoptionist heresy stated that Jesus was the Son of God only because God had adopted him. (Adoptionism has persisted, unfortunately.  I have heard someone affirm it.)  St. Paulinus II also helped Charlemagne’s son, Pepin, King of the Lombards (reigned 781-810).  The Patriarch supported Pepin’s military campaign against the Avars, nomads of Eurasian ancestry who fought both the Carolingian and Roman (Byzantine) Empires.  After Pepin’s forces won, St. Paulinus II oversaw the peaceful conversion of the Avars and many Slavs in what has become Slovenia.  St, Paulinus II also represented Charlemagne to Pope Leo III (in office 795-816).

St. Paulinus II died on January 11, 802 or 804.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 2, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF GEORG WEISSEL, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF ANNA BERNADINE DOROTHY HOPPE, U.S. LUTHERAN HYMN WRITER AND TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN GOTTFRIED GEBHARD, GERMAN MORAVIAN COMPOSER AND MUSIC EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF JULIAN EYMARD, FOUNDER OF THE PRIESTS OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT, THE SERVANTS OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT, AND THE PRIESTS’ EUCHARISTIC LEAGUE; AND ORGANIZER OF THE CONFRATERNITY OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

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O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [St. Paulinus II and all others]

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

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Feast of St. Alcuin of York (May 20)   6 comments

Carolingian Empire 843

Above:  The Carolingian Empire, 843

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT ALCUIN OF YORK (CIRCA 735-MAY 19, 804)

Abbot of Tours

Stating that one stands on the shoulders of giants is accurate is many contexts, including the life and legacy of St. Alcuin of York, a scholar, educator, and theologian.

St. Alcuin, a native of York, Northumbria, entered the world in the 730s.  Sources have proven to be inconsistent regarding the year, with some offering 732 and others stating 735, always with the caveat “circa.”  He attended the cathedral school at York, the most renowned institution of learning in England.  Our saint taught there form 766 to 778, became a Roman Catholic deacon in 770, and served as the headmaster from 778 to 782.

St. Alcuin made his greatest contribution in the Frankish Kingdom/Carolingian Empire.  In 781 he was returning from a visit to Rome when he met King Charles I “the Great,” a.k.a. Charlemagne (reigned 768-814; Holy Roman Emperor, 800-814) at Parma, Italy.  Our saint accepted the monarch’s offer to lead the Palace School at Aix-en-Chapelle.  St. Alcuin made that school the center of learning in the kingdom and organized schools throughout the realm.  He also encouraged the study of secular liberal arts as means of spiritual edification, taught members of the nobility and the royal family, wrote works on education and grammar, and played a crucial role in preserving knowledge and reviving education in Western Europe after the demise of the Western Roman Empire.

St. Alcuin was also an important liturgist.  He revised the liturgy of the Frankish Church, basing his revision on the Georgian and Gelasian sacramentaries.  Our saint also introduced the sung creed into the Frankish liturgy and arranged notive masses for each day of the week.  St. Alcuin’s work led the the Roman Missal and to liturgical uniformity in Roman Catholicism.  He was also responsible for preserving many prayers, including the Collect of Purity:

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires are known, and from you no secrets are hid:  Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 355

Many of St. Alcuin’s written works have survived.  There were, for example, 310 Latin letters, a treasure trove for historians who study the 700s.  He also left theological works (often refutations of heresies), hagiographies, and commentaries on the Bible.  His revision of the Vulgate has not survived, however.

St. Alcuin served as the Abbot of Tours, presiding over Marmoutier Abbey in Alsace, from 796 to 804.  The roles (if any) he played in politics during his final years have been unclear for a long time.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 15, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE NEW MARTYRS OF LIBYA, 2015

THE FEAST OF ALEXANDER VIETS GRISWOLD, PRESIDING BISHOP OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS HAROLD ROWLEY, NORTHERN BAPTIST MINISTER, HUMANITARIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF THOMAS BRAY, ANGLICAN PRIEST

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Almighty God, in a rude and barbarous age you raised up

your deacon Alcuin to rekindle the light of learning:

Illumine our minds, we pray, that amid the uncertainties and confusions

of our own time we may show forth your eternal truth;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you

and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 39:1-9

Psalm 37:3-6, 32-33

Titus 2:1-3

Matthew 13:10-16

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 379

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