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Saint of the Day: St. Majolus of Cluny

Monastic Leader and Church Reformer



Benedictine Abbot (906-994)

His life

+ Majolus (or Maieul) was born in Avignon, France. After Saracen invaders sacked his family’s lands, he went to live with relatives in Mâcon, where he studied philosophy and was ordained a subdeacon.

+ He became a monk at the influential abbey of Cluny and served the monastery as librarian and bursar, overseeing the monastery’s finances.

+ In 965, Majolus was elected abbot of Cluny and his aristocratic background helped him to navigate the treacherous waters of tenth century French politics. He improved the abbey’s relationship with the papacy and worked to secure his community’s rights in a time when both secular and religious authorities often used abbeys as sources of income.

+ Abbot Majolus established numerous daughter-houses and helped in the reform of other monasteries that wanted to adopted the monastic practices of Cluny.

+ After years of service to his community and the broader Church, Saint Majolus died in 994.

For prayer and reflection

The abbot ought ever to bear in mind what he is and what he is called; he ought to know that to whom more is entrusted, from him more is exacted.”—The Rule of St. Benedict


Grant us, O Lord, that amid the uncertainties of this world we may cling with all our heart to the things of heaven, for through the Abbot blessed Majolus you have given us a model of evangelical perfection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For an Abbot)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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