Archive for the ‘St. Sulpicius II of Bourges’ Tag

Feast of Sts. Remaclus of Maastricht, Theodard of Maastricht, Lambert of Mastricht, Hubert of Maastricht and Liege, Floribert of Liege, Landrada of Munsterbilsen, Plechelm of Guelderland, Otger of Utrecht, and Wiro (April 27)   1 comment

Above:  Gaul in 714 Common Era

SAINT REMACLUS OF MAASTRICHT (DIED CIRCA 675)

Roman Catholic Abbot and Bishop

His feast transferred from September 3

mentor of

SAINT THEODARD OF MAASTRICHT (DIED CIRCA 670)

Roman Catholic Abbot and Bishop

His feast transferred from September 10

uncle of

SAINT LAMBERT OF MAASTRIHT (635-705)

Roman Catholic Bishop

His feast transferred from September 17

predecessor of

SAINT HUBERT OF MAASTRICHT AND LIEGE (DIED 727)

Roman Catholic Bishop

His feast transferred from November 3

father of

SAINT FLORIBERT OF LIEGE (DIED 746)

Roman Catholic Bishop

His feast = April 27

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SAINT PLECHELM OF GUELDERLAND (DIED CIRCA 730)

Roman Catholic Bishop

His feast transferred from July 15

worked with

SAINT WIRO (DIED 600S)

Roman Catholic Bishop

His feast transferred from May 8

worked with

SAINT OTGER OF UTRECHT (DIED 600S)

Roman Catholic Deacon

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SAINT LANDRADA OF MUNSTERBILSEN (DIED CIRCA 690)

Roman Catholic Abbess

Her feast transferred from July 8

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Once again one name–this time, St. Floribert–has led to a chain of historical discovery.  This post covers nine saints, all of whom are here for good reasons.  Shall we begin?

St. Remaclus of Maastricht (died circa 675), born in Aquitaine, studied under St. Sulpicius II of Bourges and became the first abbot of Solignac because St. Eligius appointed him.  St. Remaclus later served as Abbot of Cugnon, in Luxembourg.  After that he served in the court of Sigibert III, King of Austrasia (reigned 632-656), persuading the monarch to found the double monastery of Malmedy-Stavelot, in the Ardennes.  The saint served as abbot there before becoming Bishop of Maastricht in 652/653.  He had a reputation for holiness–certainly an excellent legacy to leave to posterity.

St. Remaclus mentored St. Theodard of Maastricht (died circa 670).  He succeeded succeeded Remaclus as abbot in 652/653 then as bishop in 662.  The saint met an unhappy and violent fate in the Bienwald Forest near Speyer, Germany.  Nobles had seized church lands, so the bishop was traveling to protest this to King Childeric II of Austrasia (reigned 662-675).  Yet robbers murdered the saint.

St. Theodard had a nephew, St. Lambert of Maastricht (635-705), whom he educated.  St. Lambert, a nobleman from Maastricht, succeeded his uncle as bishop.  Ebroin, mayor of the palace, expelled St. Lambert for supporting the murdered Childeric II, so the saint retired to the double monastery of Malmedy-Stavelot.  Pepin (II) of Heristal, Mayor of Austrasia and Neustria (687-714) and a successor of Ebroin, reinstated St. Lambert.  The reinstated bishop built a convent at Munsterbilsen and appointed St. Landrada (died circa 690), about whom we know little else, the first abbess.  He also converted many pagans and tended to his flock.  St. Lambert died because he condemned Pepin (II) for having an affair with his (Pepin’s) sister-in-law, Alpais.  The saint either died at the hands of Dodo, brother of Alpais, or relatives of Dodo.

Another interesting connection in church history pertains to St. Lambert’s missionary efforts.  He worked with St. Willibrord, a great evangelist.  Three coworkers of Sts. Lambert and Willibrord were Sts. Otger of Utrecht, Plechelm of Guelderland, and Wiro.  St. Plechelm, a monk, became missionary bishop to Northumberland then a missionary to Friesland with St. Willibrord.  St. Plechelm was martyred circa 730 while preaching.  His colleague, St. Wiro, was also a bishop.  We know little about him and even less about his fellow evangelist, St. Otger of Utrecht, a deacon.  I am surprised that we know as much as we do about these gentlemen as we do, given the passage of time.

St. Hubert of Maastricht and Liege (died 727) succeeded the murdered St. Lambert as bishop.  St. Hubert, originally a courtier in the service of Pepin (II), was married to Floribane.  She died in childbirth, but their son survived. The newly single father entered the religious life and became a priest under St. Lambert.  As bishop St. Hubert relocated the headquarters of his diocese from Maastricht to Liege.  He also converted many people and ended idol worship in his diocese.  He died on May 30, 727, during a trip to consecrate a new church building.

St. Floribert of Liege (died 746) was the surviving son of Floribane and St. Hubert.  The son succeeded his father as bishop, serving from 727 to 746.  Of St. Floribert we know little, but his reputation for holiness has survived to this day in the literature of hagiography.

If memories of you, O reader, and of me survive fourteen or fifteen centuries into the future, will they be pious ones?  For every saint of whom we know a great deal there are many of whom we know next to nothing.  And, of course, there are many more names lost forever in the sands of time.  Yet God knows them well, and that matters most of all.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 1, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MAXIMILLIAN OF TREVESTE, ROMAN CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT DAVID OF WALES, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF MENEVIA

THE FEAST OF GIROLAMO FRESCOBALDI, COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAINT THEOPHANES THE CHRONICLER, DEFENDER OF ICONS

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Almighty God, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses:

Grant that we, encouraged by the good examples of your servants

Saint Remaclus of Maastricht,

Saint Theodard of Maastricht,

Saint Lambert of Maastricht,

St. Hubert of Maastricht and Liege,

Saint Floribert of Liege,

Saint Plechelm of Guelderland,

St. Wiro,

Saint Otger of Utrecht,

and Saint Landrada of Munsterbilsen,

may persevere in running the race that is set before us,

until at last we may with them attain to your eternal joy;

through Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 15

Hebrews 12:1-2

Matthew 25:31-40

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 724

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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