||Rabanus Maurus, Archbishop of Mainz, 784?-856 |
Rabanus Maurus (c. 776-856) or Hrabanus Magnentius Maurus, was born of noble parents at Mainz, and educated at Fulda and Tours under Alcuin, who is reputed to have given him the surname, Maurus, after the saint of that name. In 803, he became director of the school at the Benedictine Abbey at Fulda. He was ordained priest in 814, spending the following years in a pilgrimage to Palestine. In 822, he became Abbott at Fulda, retiring in 842. In 847, he became archbishop of Mainz. He died at Winkel on the Rhine, February 4, 856. This distinguished Carolingian poet-theologian wrote extensive biblical commentaries, the Encyclopaedic De Universo, De Institutione Clericorum, and other works which circulated widely during the Middle Ages. Some of his poems, with English translations, are in Helen Waddell's Mediaeval Latin Lyrics. He is the author of:
O Come, Creator Spirit, come
Christ, the fair glory of the holy angels
Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire
Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest
Creator Spirit, by whose aid
--The Hymnal 1940 Companion, New York: The Church Pension Fund (1949)
Hrabanus (Rabanus) Maurus, son of one Ruthard, was born probably at Mainz, about 776. At an early age he was sent to the Monastery of Fulda to receive a religious education. In 801 he was ordained Deacon, and the following year he went to the monastic school of St. Martin at Tours to study under Alcuin, a celebrated teacher of that time, who gave to Hrabanus the name of Maurus to which Hrabanus added Magnentius. On his return to Fulda in 804 he became the head of the school connected with the Monastery. Towards him Ratgar the abbot showed great unkindness, which arose mainly from the fact that Ratgar demanded the students to build additions to the monastery, whilst Hrabanus required them at the same time for study. Hrabanus had to retire for a season, but Ratgar's deposition by Ludwig the Pious, in 817, opened up the way for his return, and the reopening of the school In the meantime, in 814, he had been raised to the Priesthood. Egil, who succeeded Ratgar as abbot, died in 822, and Hrabanus was appointed in his stead. This post he held for some time, until driven forth by some of the community. In 847, on the death of Archbishop Otgar, Ludwig the younger, with whom Hrabanus had sided in his demand for German independence as against the imperialism of his elder brother Lothar, rewarded him with the Archbishopric of Mainz, then the metropolitan see of Germany. He held this appointment to his death on Feb. 4, 856. He was buried first in St. Alban's, Mainz, and then, during the early days of the Reformation, in St. Maurice, Halle, possibly because of the opposition he is known to have made to the doctrine of Transubstantiation.
With German historians Hrabanus is regarded as the father of the modern system of education in that country. His prose works were somewhat numerous, but the hymns with which his name is associated are few. We have the "Christe sanctorum decus Angelorum”; “Tibi Christe, splendor Patris”; and the "Veni Creator Spiritus”; but recent research convinces us that the ascription in each case is very doubtful; and none are received as by Hrabanus in Professor Dümmler's edition of the Carmina of Hrabanus in the Poetae Latini aevi Carolini, vol. ii. 1884. Dümmler omits them even from the "hymns of uncertain origin."
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix I (1907)
Rabanus Maurus Magnentius (c. 780 – 4 February 856), also known as Hrabanus or Rhabanus, was a Frankish Benedictine monk, theologian, poet, encyclopedist and military writer who became archbishop of Mainz in East Francia. He was the author of the encyclopaedia De rerum naturis ("On the Natures of Things"). He also wrote treatises on education and grammar and commentaries on the Bible. He was one of the most prominent teachers and writers of the Carolingian age, and was called "Praeceptor Germaniae", or "the teacher of Germany". In the most recent edition of the Roman Martyrology (Martyrologium Romanum, 2004, pp. 133), his feast is given as 4 February and he is qualified as a Saint ('sanctus').