Abbot and Bishop (776-852)
+ Rabanus was born in Mainz, Germany, and educated by the Benedictine monks in Fulda and Tours. One of his teachers, Blessed Alcuin of York, gave him the nickname “Maurus,” after the disciple of Saint Benedict.
+ Rabanus returned to the monastery at Fulda and served as administrator of the abbey’s school. He established a library and composed a number of treatises and commentaries on Scriptures. He emphasized the importance of the Divine Office and composed several hymns and liturgical texts, including the Pentecost sequence, Veni, Creator Spiritus.
+ Elected abbot in 822, he was eventually named archbishop of Mainz. Although he was already an old man, he held two diocesan synods and traveled through the diocese, making himself available to both the clergy and the laity.
+ Blessed Rabanus Maurus died in 856 and became the object of popular devotion immediately after his death.
“Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
the Father and the Son to know;
and Thee, through endless times confessed,
of both the eternal Spirit blest.”—from the Veni, Creator Spiritus by Blessed Rabanus Maurus
On this day we also remember two martyrs who were killed in Alexandria, Egypt, in the early fourth century: Phileas, a bishop, and Philoromus, a military tribune. These two men could not be persuaded by their relatives and friends to save themselves. Instead, they freely accepted death for their faith in Christ.
Almighty and eternal God, who gave your holy Church blessed Rabanus Maurus as Bishop, grant that what he taught when moved by the divine Spirit may always stay firm in our hearts; and as by your gift we embrace him as our patron, may we also have him as our defender to entreat your mercy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Pastors—For a Bishop)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.