Thursday, February 04, 2010

St. Rabanus Maurus

Today is - in the dioceses in which it is celebrated - the Feast of St. Rabanus Maurus, Bishop and Confessor, who is most well-known as the author of the hymn of Pentecost, Veni Creator Spiritus. You can read about him in the Catholic Encyclopedia here. I thought some of you might be interested in his feast's propers; while the oratio is taken from the Commune (C5, the oratio for Doctors of the Church, even though he has not been proclaimed as such; you will find the explanation for that below), the 3rd lesson for Matins (taken form the lessons iv through vi of his proper according to the officia propria diœcesis Berolinensis, which in the absence of a lectio contracta form, read as one, the 3rd lesson accoridng to no. 221 lit. b of the Rubricæ generales; I indicate the original divisions with asterisks) is the following:

Rabánus cognoménto Maurus, húmili apud Buchónios Germániæ pópulos génere ortus, ab adolescéntia sua sacrárum litterárum lectióni ac meditatióni inténtus, adhuc júvenis ad Sancti Benedícti régulam se applícuit in eádem, in qua natus et altus, urbe Fuldénsi, tam móribus quam sciéntia mirabíliter profécit et exínde, ut álii ibi quoque profícerent, laborávit, schola pública in cœnóbio Fuldénsi institúta, quam étiam abbas egrégie promóvit tanto religiosórum illórum emoluménto, ut eórum sub hujus ducis et magístri cura et disciplína laus et fama per totam Europam celebráta fúerit. Ipse tum propter exímiam vitæ sanctitátem, tum propter incomparábilem sciéntiam scripturárum a sancto Albérto Magno ecclésiæ doctóris elógio decorátus est. Ad extrémum tamen nonnúllos religiosórum sibi infénsos hábuit, qui dicébant, nímium lítteris inténtum temporália neglígere: quorum iræ ut locum daret, relícto monastério, ad Ludovícum Pium Imperatórem sese recépit. * Ita vir mitíssimus non, quæ sua sunt, quærens, suæ cessit abbatíæ et recéssit inglórius; verum Deus pro Fulda repéndit Mogúntiam, Otgárii archiepíscopi decéssu pastóre destitútam, ubi ille velut e sublimióri loco clárius resplénduit. Ad servándam fídei integritátem et reformándos tam cleri quam pópuli mores inténtus únice, duas coégit Sýnodos, provinciálem unam, nationálem álteram et in iis hæresiárcham Godeschálcum, de prædestinatióne male sentiéntem, damnávit et ália quam plúrima ad decórem et utilitátem ecclésiæ constítuit, pro cujus immunitáte étiam eo témpore passim a minístris príncipum sæculárium pessúmdata severíssimas leges cóndidit et eárum ratihabitiónem ab imperatóre velut sanctæ Dei ecclésiæ advocáto, missa ad eum epístola synódica, obtínuit. * In páuperes insígni semper misericórdia ferebátur, quam anno octingentésimo quinquagésimo, cum gravíssima fames Germániam oppressísset, exhíbuit, dum in dies plus quam trecéntis victum præbuit, excéptis iis, qui in præséntia ipsíus vescebántur assídue. Tandem contínuis pro glória Dei labóribus exháustus, ad vitam migrávit immortálem quarto die Februárii, anno Dómini octingentésimo quinquagésimo sexto, pontificátus sui nono. Sacrum ejus corpus in ecclésia divi Albáni Mogúntiæ tumulátum ab Albérto cardináli et archiepíscopo Moguntíno cum relíquiis sancti Máximi solémni processióne Hallas in Saxóniam auctoritáte apostólica translátum est.

My translation:

Rabanus with the byname Maurus was born from a humble family among the Buchonian tribes of Germany. From his youth he dedicated himself to reading and meditating the sacred texts, and while still a youth he applied himself to the rule of St. Benedict in the same city of Fulda in which he was born and raised. He grew wonderfully in morals as well as in knwoledge and hence worked, so that others, too, might grow in these areas, founding a public school in the monastery of Fulda, which the abbot fostered surpassingly as well, to such great profit for those religious, that their praise and fame under this guide and teacher's care and instruction was celebrated throughout Europe. He himself was distinguished by St. Albert the Great with the title of a doctor of the Church, both because of his extraordinary holiness of life and his incomparable kowledge of Scripture. Nevertheless, he had some of the religious extremely enraged against him, who said that he neglected the worldly affairs, being too much focused on learning. In order to give way to their ire, he left the monastery and betook himself to the Emperor Louis the Pious. * Thus this most meek man did not seek what was his, withdrew from his abbey and went away inglorious. But God recompensed him for Fulda with Mainz, which was deprived of a shepherd due to the death of archbishop Otgar, where as from a higher place he shone the more brightly. Being only concerned about saving the integrity of the faith and reforming the morals of the clergy as wells as the people, he conducted two synods, one provincial and one national. And at these he condemned the heresiarch Gottschalk who held a wrong opinion on predestination. He also established otherwiwse as much as he could for what is becoming and useful for the Church. For its freedom, which was also at that time being undone everywhere by the servants of the secular princes, he also established the strictest laws, and obtained their ratification from the Emperor as the Protector of the holy Church of God, having sent a synodal letter to him. * He was always moved by a remarkable mercy for the poor, which he displayed in the year 850, when a most severe famine afflicted Germany. At that time he daily fed more than 300 persons, not including those who ate seated in his presence. Being finally exhausted by his continuous labours for the glory of God, he passed to eternal life on 4 February in the year of the Lord 856, the ninth of his pontificate. His sacred body was buried in the church of St. Alban in Mainz, and by Apostolic authority translated to Halle in Saxony in solemn procession, together with the relics of St. Maximus, by Albrecht [sc. of Brandenburg], Cardinal Archbishop of Mainz.

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