Benedict of Aniane
|Saint Benedict of Aniane|
|Died||12 February 821|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy|
Saint Benedict of Aniane (c. 747 – 12 February 821), born Witiza and called the Second Benedict, was a Benedictine monk and monastic reformer, who left a large imprint on the religious practice of the Carolingian Empire. His feast day is February 12.
According to Ardo, Benedict's biographer, the saint was the son of a Visigoth, Aigulf, Count of Maguelonne (Magalonensis comes) in 752. Originally given the Gothic name Witiza, he was educated at the Frankish court of Pippin the Younger, and entered the royal service. He served at the court of Charlemagne, and took part in the Italian campaign of Charlemagne in 773 where he almost drowned in the Ticino near Pavia while trying to save a fellow soldier. He later left the court to become a monk. He was received into the monastery of Saint Sequanus (Saint-Seine).
Around 780, he founded a monastic community based on Eastern asceticism at Aniane in Languedoc. This community did not develop as he had intended. In 782, he founded another monastery based on Benedictine Rule, at the same location. His success there gave him considerable influence, which he used to found and reform a number of other monasteries, and eventually becoming the effective abbot of all the monasteries of Charlemagne's empire.
He was the head of a council of abbots which in 817 at Aachen created a code of regulations, or "Codex regularum", which would be binding on all their houses. Shortly thereafter, he compiled a "Concordia regularum". Although these new codes fell into disuse shortly after the deaths of Benedict and his patron, Emperor Louis the Pious, they did have lasting effects on Western monasticism.
Benedict died at Kornelimünster Abbey, a monastery Louis had built for him to serve as the base for Benedict's supervisory work.
- For Benedict's writings, see Codex regularum monasticarum et canonicarum in Patrologia Latina, CIII, 393-702;
- Concordia regularum, PL 103:393-702
- Letters, PL 103:703-1380.
Other treatises (PL103:1381ff) ascribed to him are probably not authentic.
- Attwater, Donald and Catherine Rachel John. The Penguin Dictionary of Saints. 3rd edition. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN 0-14-051312-4.
- Ardo Smaragdus, Life, op. cit., CIII, 353 sqq.;
- Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Script., XV, I, 200-220;
- Acta Sanctorum, Feb., II, 606 sqq.;
- NICOLAI, Der hl. Benedict, Gründer von Aniane und Cornelimünster (Cologne, 1865);
- PAULINIER, S. Benoit d'Aniane et la fondation du monastere de ce nom (Montpellier, 1871);
- FOSS, Benedikt von Aniane (Berlin, 1884);
- PUCKERT, Aniane und Gellone (Leipzig, 1899);
- HAUCK, Kirchengesch. Deutschlands (2nd ed., Leipzig, 1900), II, 575 sqq.;
- BUTLER, Lives of the Saints, 12 Feb.
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