Archive for the ‘St. Itta of Metz’ Tag

Feast of Sts. Murin of Fahan, Laserian of Leighlin, Goban of Picardie, Blitharius of Seganne, Fursey of Peronne, Foillan of Fosses, and Ultan of Peronne (April 19)   Leave a comment

Above:  A Map of Gaul in 628 Common Era

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SAINT MURIN OF FAHAN (CIRCA 550-645)

Abbot of Fahan

His feast transferred from March 12

mentor of

SAINT LASERIAN OF LEIGHLIN, A.K.A. SAINT MOLAISSE (DIED 639)

Abbot and Bishop of Leighlin

His feast transferred from April 18

brother of

SAINT GOBAN OF PICARDIE (DIED CIRCA 670)

Abbot and Hermit

His feast transferred from June 20

Traveled with

SAINT FURSEY OF PERONNE (DIED CIRCA 648)

Monk

His feast transferred from January 16

Evangelized with

SAINT BLITHARIUS OF SEGANNE (DIED 600S)

Monk

His feast transferred from June 11

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SAINT FOILLAN OF FOSSES (DIED CIRCA 655)

Abbot

Brother of Saint Fursey of Peronne

His feast transferred from October 31

Other feast days = January 16 and November 5

brother of

SAINT ULTAN OF PERONNE (DIED 686)

Abbot

His feast transferred from May 2

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This post began when I found one name–St. Laserian.  Reading about him led to other names, which led to still more names.  Thus, from one lead I have arrived at seven names, including two sets of brothers.  Thus is fitting, for faith is at its best when it is both individual and shared.  We human beings ought to encourage one another in righteousness.

We begin our stroll down Holiness Lane with St. Murin of Fahan (circa 550-645).  Also known as Mura McFeredach and Murin McFeredach, he became Abbot of Fahan, in Ireland, when St. Columba appointed him to that post.  St. Murin wrote voluminously, including a biography of St. Columba.  St. Murin also served as a spiritual mentor to our next saint, Laserian of Leighlin.

St. Laserian of Leighlin, a.k.a. Molaisse (died 639) was a monk who became an abbot and a bishop.  He lived at Iona Monastery before going to Rome, where Pope St. Gregory I “the Great” (reigned 590-604) ordained him.  Then St. Laserian transferred to the monastery at Leighlin, in southern Ireland.  Then he favored the Roman manner of observing Easter over the Celtic one.  He defended this position at the synod at White Fields in 635.  With the synod at an impasse, the saint and some fellow monks traveled to Rome, to meet with Pope Honorius I (reigned 625-638).  At Rome the Pope consecrated the saint a bishop and appointed him papal legate to Ireland.  Back in Ireland, St. Laserian ruled in favor of Roman practices.  He succeeded his brother, St. Goban of Picardie, as Abbot of Leighlin in 637.

St. Goban of Picardie (died circa 670) became a hermit.  He traveled with his spiritual mentor, St. Fursey of Peronne, to East Anglia.

St. Fursey (died circa 648) and his brothers, St. Foillan of Fosses (died circa 655) and St. Ultan of Peronne (died 686), were Irish noblemen.  They were sons of Fintan, prince of South Muster, and Gelgesia, daughter of Aedhfinn, prince of Hy-Briuin, in Connaught.  The three brothers and St. Goban evangelized in East Anglia and founded a monastery at Great Yarmouth, on the coast of the North Sea.  They did this circa 630.  England was politically divided in the 600s, for kingdoms waged wars against each other.  Thus it happened that, in 642, forces of the Kingdom of Mercia invaded East Anglia and destroyed the monastery at Great Yarmouth.

The four saints fled to Francia, where King Clovis II of Neustria and Burgundy (reigned 639-657) welcomed them.  In Francia they finished their days and completed their work.  St. Fursey evangelized with St. Blitharius of Seganne (died 600s), a Scottish-born monk also known as St. Blier.  St. Blitharius settled in Seganne, Champagne, where he died of natural causes.  St. Fursey founded a monastery at Ligny, in Neustria.  St. Foillan formed an association Sts. Itta of Metz and Gertrude of Nivelles, becoming the founding Abbot of Fosses, in modern-day Belgium.  He died on October 31, 655, after saying Mass.  Outlaws murdered him.  His brother, St. Ultan, succeeded him as abbot.

What about St. Goban?  He became a hermit in the forest near the Oise River and built a church and a hermitage near Premontre.  He died when bandits beheaded him.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 21, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF STEVE DE GRUCHY, SOUTH AFRICAN CONGREGATIONALIST THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT ARNULF OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP, AND SAINT GERMANUS OF GRANFEL, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT ETHELBERT OF KENT, KING

THE FEAST OF SAINT ROBERT SOUTHWELL, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR

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Everlasting God,

you have sent your messengers

to carry the good news of Christ

into the world;

grant that we who commemorate

Saint Murin of Fahan,

Saint Laserian of Leighlin,

Saint Goban of Pirardie,

Saint Blitharius of Seganne,

Saint Fursey of Peronne,

Saint Foillan of Fosses,

and Saint Ultan of Peronne

may know the hope of the gospel

in our hearts

and show forth its light in all our ways;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Isaiah 49:1-6

Psalm 67 or 96

Acts 16:6-10

Matthew 9:35-38

–Adapted from A New Zealand Prayer Book (1989), pages 682-683)

Feast of St. Sigebert III of Austrasia (February 1)   Leave a comment

Above:  Frankish Kingdoms in 628 C.E.

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT SIGEBERT III OF AUSTRASIA (630/631-656)

King of Austrasia (633/634-656)

This post relates to this one.  I refer you, O reader, to it for points of reference.  As a teacher of history, I know that one needs to break up and pace the dissemination of knowledge properly.  So I invite you to follow the bouncing ball with me and to understand the past and the roles which certain saints played in it.

King Dagobert I (died on January 9, 639) crowned his very young son, St. Sigebert III, co-monarch in 633/634.  St. Pepin (I) of Landen, Mayor of the royal palace, taught the young king from 638 to 640, when he died.  Grimoald, St. Pepin’s son, succeeded him as Mayor in 643.  St. Sigebert III achieved his majority in time and began to rule in his own right.  He founded monasteries, hospitals, and churches, and was renowned for his holiness and his aid to the poor.  Among the twelve monasteries he established were the abbeys at Stavelot and Malmedy.  The saint died young, aged twenty-five years.  The 1962 Encyclopedia Americana describes him as “a devoted Christian.”

History tells us that the Mayors of the Frankish royal palaces began to exercise greater authority during the reigns of St. Sigebert III and his brother, Clovis II of Neustria.  The line which began with St. Pepin (I) of Landen and St. Itta of Metz became the new royal line in time via their daughter, St. Begga of Andenne, and her husband, Ansegisal, Mayor of Austrasia from 632 to 638.  Their son was Pepin (II) of Herigstal, Mayor of Austrasia and Neustria from 687 to 714.  So Sts. Pepin of Landen and Itta of Metz were the great-great grandparents of Pepin (III) the Short, King of the Franks from 747 to 768, and father of Charles the Great, a.k.a. Charlemagne, who reigned from 768 to 814.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 1, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST FROM NICHOLAS FERRAR, ANGLICAN DEACON

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHARLES DE FOUCAULD, ROMAN CATHOLIC HERMIT

THE FEAST OF SAINT EDMUND CAMPION, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT ELIGIUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

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Lord God,

you have surrounded us with so great a cloud of witnesses.

Grant that we, encouraged by the example of your servant Saint Sigebert III of Austrasia,

may persevere in the course that is set before us and,

at the last, share in your eternal joy with all the saints in light,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 9:1-10

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Luke 6:20-23

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 59

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Revised on November 26, 2016

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Feast of St. Pepin of Landen, St. Itta of Metz, Their Relations, St. Amand, St. Austregisilus, and St. Sulpicius II of Bourges (January 9)   12 comments

Above:  A Map of Gaul in 628 C.E.

Faithful Christians Across Generational Lines

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SAINT AUSTREGISILUS (DIED 624)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Bourges (612-624)

who mentored

SAINT AMAND (CIRCA 584-675)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Maastricht

and ordained

SAINT SULPICIUS II OF BOURGES (DIED 646)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Bourges (624-646)

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SAINT PEPIN OF LANDEN (CIRCA 580-640)

Mayor of the Merovingian Palace (623-629, 639-640)

husband of

SAINT ITTA OF METZ (593-652)

Roman Catholic Abbess at Nivelles

sister of 

SAINT MODOALD OF TRIER (DIED 640/645)

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Trier (626-640/645)

brother of 

SAINT SEVERA OF SAINT GEMMA (DIED 680)

Roman Catholic Abbess

aunt of 

SAINT GERTRUDE OF NIVELLES (626-659)

Roman Catholic Abbess

sister of 

SAINT BEGGA OF ANDENNE (615-693)

Roman Catholic Abbess

sister of

SAINT BAVO OF GHENT (622-659)

Roman Catholic Hermit

brother of 

SAINT MODESTA OF TRIER (DIED 680)

Roman Catholic Abbess

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SAINT AMALBERGA OF MAUBERGE (DIED 690)

Roman Catholic Nun

mother of

SAINT GUDULA (DIED 680/714)

Roman Catholic Nun

sister of

SAINT PHARAILDIS OF GHENT (CIRCA 650-CIRCA 740)

Holy Virgin

sister of

SAINT REINELDIS OF SAINTES (630-CIRCA 700)

Roman Catholic Martyr

sister of

SAINT EMERBERTUS OF CAMBRAI (DIED 710)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Cambrai

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This post tells the story of one extended family, a bishop who proved instrumental in sparking a chain reaction of holiness, his mentor, and another holy man whom that mentor ordained.  Each saint has his or her own feast day in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints, but I have chosen to assign them a common feast day and tell one large story, not sixteen smaller ones.

St. Austregisilus (died 624) was a courtier who became a monk at Lyon then an abbot at Lyon.  Then, in 612, he became Bishop of Bourges.  He mentored St. Amand (circa 584-675), a Frankish nobleman who, at age 20, rebelled against his family’s wishes and became a monk at Bourges.  St. Amand lived under the direction of St. Austregisilus, called a simple cell home, and ate bread and drank water for fifteen years.  Made a missionary bishop without a diocese in 628, St. Amand began his work in Ghent and expanded his work across Flanders (modern-day Belgium).  He experienced much success after a period of initial fruitless labor.  St. Amand supervised the founding of monasteries, including the first one in Flanders.  Bishop of Maastricht by 649, he left that see to continue his missionary work.

St. Austregisilus ordained St. Sulpicius II of Bourges (died January 17, 646), known for devoting his life to evangelism, good works (namely charitable works to aid the poor), and the study of the Bible.  Born into a Gallic noble family, St. Sulpicius II became chaplain to King Clotaire II (reigned 584-629) before succeeding St. Austregisilus as Bishop of Bourges (624-646).

St. Pepin of Landen (circa 580-February 27, 640) served as Mayor of the Merovingian palace under Dagobert I (from 623 to 629) and Sigebert III (from 639 to 640).  He had a reputation for offering wise counsel and providing good government.  After he died his wife St. Itta of Metz (592-652), on the advice of St. Amand, founded the abbey at Nivelles and became the abbess there.  Her daughter, St. Gertrude (626-March 17, 659), succeeded her as abbess.  St. Gertrude educated her cousin, St. Gudula (died between 680 and 714), a nun, at the Nivelles abbey.  St. Gudula‘s mother was St. Amalberga (died 690), who was either the niece or sister of St. Pepin of Landen.  (The sources disagree on the nature of the relationship between the two.)  Both St. Amalberga and her husband, Witger, chose to leave luxurious lives to devote their remaining days to God and monasticism.  St Gudula returned to her home after the death of St. Gertrude and devoted herself to prayer and good works.

Sources are vague as to the parentage of Sts. Itta of Metz, Modoald of Trier, and Severa of St. Gemma, but some point toward Arnaold (circa 560-circa 611), Bishop of Metz from 601 to 609/611.  His wife had been Oda, who died no later than 584.

St. Gertrude had three sainted siblings.  St. Begga of Andenne (615-December 17, 693) became a nun then an abbess after her husband died.  She founded seven churches and build a convent a Andenne, Flanders (now Belgium).  Her brother, St. Bavo of Ghent (622-659) abandoned a disorderly and undisciplined life, gave up his material wealth, and dedicated his life to God.  He became a missionary in France and Flanders before become a hermit and building an abbey at Ghent.  His other holy sister, St. Modesta of Trier (died 680), became abbess at Trier.  Her uncle, St. Modoald of Trier (died 640/645), Archbishop of Trier from 626, appointed her to that post.  He, a counselor to King Dagobert I, was brother of St. Itta of Metz and St. Severa of St. Gemma (died 680), abbess at St. Gemma Convent, Villeneuve.

St. Gudula was one of four sainted children of St. Amalberga and Witger.  St. Pharaildis (circa 650-circa 740) entered into a loveless marriage involuntarily.  She promised her body to God, not her abusive husband, and preserved her virginity during her lifetime.  St. Reineldis (630-circa 700), her sister, devoted herself to good works at Saintes.  Unfortunately, the Huns raided the city and martyred her.  Then there was St. Emerbertus (died 710), the Bishop of Cambrai.

Details about the lives of these holy men and women are mostly sketchy now, as I write these words in late 2011.  This fact does not surprise me, for I know that many (if not most) sources meet various unhappy fates over time.  So sometimes all we know about a saint is a name, a few dates (sometimes uncertain), some stories, and a reputation for holiness.  So be it.  At least we know that much.  How much will people know about us fourteen centuries hence?

Let us now praise famous men,

and our fathers in their generations.

The Lord apportioned to them great glory,

his majesty from the beginning.

There were those who ruled in their kingdoms,

and were men renowned for their power,

giving counsel by their understanding,

and proclaiming prophecies;

leaders of the people in their deliberations

and in understanding of learning for the people,

wise in their words of instruction;

those who composed musical tunes,

and set forth verses in writing;

rich men furnished with resources,

living peaceably in their habitations–

all these were honored in their generations,

and were the glory of their times.

There are some of them who have left a name,

so that men declare their praise.

And there are some who have no memorial,

who have perished as though they had not been born,

and so have their children after them.

But these were men of mercy,

whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten;

their prosperity will remain with their descendants ,

and their inheritance to their children’s children.

Their descendants stand by the covenants;

their children also, for their sake.

Their posterity will continue for ever,

and their glory will not be blotted out.

Their bodies were buried in peace,

and their name lives to all generations.

Peoples will declare their wisdom,

and the congregation proclaims their praise.

–Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 44:1-15 (Revised Standard Version–Second Catholic Edition)

The sixteen saints whose common story I have told in this post constituted a network of holiness.  May our families and personal networks likewise be holy.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 28, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF KAMAHAMEHA AND EMMA, KING AND QUEEN OF HAWAII

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Lord God,

you have surrounded us with so great a cloud of witnesses.

Grant that we, encouraged by the example of your servants

Saint Pepin of Landen,

Saint Itta of Metz,

Saint Modoald of Trier,

Saint Severa of Saint Gemma,

Saint Gertrude of Nivelles,

Saint Begga of Andenne,

Saint Bavo of Ghent,

Saint Modesta of Trier,

Saint Amalberga of Mauberge,

Saint Gudula,

Saint Pharaildis,

Saint Reineldis of Saintes,

Saint Emerbertus of Cambrai,

Saint Amand,

Saint Austregisilus,

and Saint Sulpicius II of Bourges,

may persevere in the course that is set before us and,

at the last, share in your eternal joy with all the saints in light,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 9:1-10

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Luke 6:20-23

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 59

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Revised on November 14, 2016

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