Odo of Cluny

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"Saint Odo" redirects here. For the contemporary English saint of the same name, see Oda of Canterbury.
Saint Odo of Cluny
Odo Cluny-11.jpg
Odo of Cluny, 11th century miniature
Born c. 878
Le Mans, France
Died November 18, 942
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Feast November 18
Patronage for rain

Odo of Cluny (French: Odon) (c. 878 – 18 November 942 AD) was the second abbot of Cluny. He enacted various reforms in the Cluniac system of France and Italy. He is venerated as a Saint by the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church and his feast day is 18 November.

There is only one contemporary biography of him, the Vita Odonis written by John of Salerno.

Early life[edit]

Saint Odo was the son of Abbo, a feudal lord of Deols, near Le Mans. Abbo was a very devout man who would frequently recite the precepts of the gospel to those around him.

According to Odo's later disciple John, before Odo was born, Abbo went on his knees one Christmas in the middle of the night and asked God for the gift of a son, because he still had not had a son. His wife's name was Arenberga, and even though she was too old to bear children, she nevertheless became pregnant and gave birth to a son.[1]

According to the same source, when Odo was a baby, his father was fearful of the child's safety and so one day when he found the baby alone, he took Odo up in his arms and prayed to St Martin of Tours saying, 'Oh, gem of saints, receive this child.‘[2]

His father later sent Odo to receive education from a priest in a far away district. This priest one day was visited by the apostles Peter and Paul who demanded that the child be given to their service, and the priest was terrified by this apparition, and he begged the saints to let the boy free. Peter and Paul then said they would do so, but only for a time. The patron saints of Cluny Abbey were in fact Peter and Paul.[3]

When Odo became a teenager, his father saw how physically strong he was and he felt like he had made the wrong decision by making him go in to a career in the church and instead decided he should have a military career. His father then stopped his education and sent him to work as a page at the court of William the Pious, duke of Aquitaine, where he passed his days in hunting and military exercises. However, Odo felt deeply dissatisfied with his life there, and when he was sixteen he suffered so much that his father told him to pray to the saints for help. On Christmas Day he felt such deep reproach like his life was not pleasing to Christ and he then turned to the Virgin Mary, praying to her for help. But after he said this prayer he began to have a terrible pain in his head that continued for three years.[4]

Abbo, then remembered the prayer he had made to Saint Martin when his son was a baby, because he feared the baby would not survive. His son then grew up very healthy and strong, almost like it was an answer to the prayer. But his son was healthy so much so, that Abbo then forgot his original prayer and put his son in a military career. But his son was now suffering so greatly. Abbo felt like this was all a sign from Martin, and he prayed again to Martin, 'Behold, what gratefully I offered exactly thou hast required. Truly as is fitting thou art quick to hear our vows but expensive art thou in business.'[5]

Abbo then told Odo about the story, and Odo left William's court to go to Tours, the site of Martin's shrine, and he vowed to Martin that he would give himself to Martin's service. He then went to the monastery of St. Martin of Tours to live a religious life as a canon.

Monastery of St Martin[edit]

In the 9th and 10th centuries, the shrine of St Martin of Tours (including his tomb) was treated as one of the holiest sites in western Christendom. Huge numbers of pilgrims would come there every year to see the relics of St Martin. Many miracles were said to have occurred within the vicinity of the tomb. More than 150 years before Odo had come, when the Umayyad army came out of Spain to invade France, it was when they came to raid this shrine that the Franks, under Charles Martel, gave them a terrible defeat at the Battle of Tours.

When Odo came there, however, he was very upset at what he saw. He claimed in later years that the monks and canons at Tours, who had been spoiled by all the wealth and gifts brought by the pilgrims, had abandoned the Rule they were required to follow and were living in sin. The fact that such a thing was happening in such a holy place as Tours convinced Odo that this was a very grand sacrilege taking place. He later called it the 'abomination of desolation'.[6]

Odo became a canon in Tours, and at first he lived the same way as the other canons. But after some time passed, he felt disgusted by it and instead he disciplined himself and lived a very ascetic lifestyle.

He would spend days in spiritual reading and nights in prayer. His reading, however, was not limited to spiritual books. He also read the poems of Virgil. This stopped, when one night he had a vision and saw a vase which was beautiful but inside of it, it was filled with serpents. He saw the book of Virgil inside of the vase and he recognized that the serpents were the ideas of the poets. He then concluded that he should not study anything else except spiritual books[7]

His asceticism at Tours was very strong, and he decided to give himself up completely to spiritual contemplation. He then went to a little cell about two miles from the tomb of St Martin, and every day he ate only a pound of bread and a handful of beans, as well as very little drink. He slept on the ground, and the door to his cell was left open as he slept. He slept in his clothes.[8]

Odo would later tell his monks at Cluny, that the monks at Tours did not wear the habit any longer, but instead they wore coloured garments, with flowing cowls and tunics, and even covered them with cloaks. The monks wore shoes that were coloured and shining, and they would be afraid of getting these shoes dirty, so they wouldn't go out to the nightly Lauds. They no longer followed the Rule of St Benedict, but they changed it and abandoned it according to their desires. It was from all these experiences that later motivated him to embrace the reform movement that had begun at Cluny by Berno. Odo's asceticism at Tours was the strongest period of asceticism in his life.

Odo later related some miraculous interventions that he said he came in contact with at Tours. In one instance, during nightly Lauds, when the monks with the shiny shoes did not want to go and do their prayers, a monk saw two men enter the dormitory, one carrying a sword and the other directing him. The one who directed him pointed out one monk after another in turn and said 'Strike!' and the man then killed each monk in turn. The monk who watched them then begged God in prayer for his life, and the sword was withdrawn and the men then went away.[9]

In another instance, relating to the monks who refused to wear their habits any longer, Odo said that two monks from Tours were once sent on business outside of the monastery. One of the monks wore his habit and the other dressed like a layperson. The monk dressed as a layperson became fatally sick on his journey and he was about to die, but the other monk then had a vision in which he saw a vision of a throne in heaven with St Benedict sitting on top of it, surrounded by an army of monks. The dying monk was lying prostrate in front of the throne and was asking for help. Benedict then looked at the monk in the lay clothes and said that he did not seem to recognize this monk's habit and that he must have belonged to a different order. Benedict then said he could do nothing, because it was not within his powers to help those of another order or judge their lives. The dying monk dressed in lay clothes then was filled with despair at his doom. The other monk who kept his habit, then took it off and wrapped it around the dying monk, and Benedict then healed the dying monk of his disease.[10]

Odo began to develop a reputation as being a very holy person. He did not like this attention, however, and so he went to Paris to study for a time under Remigius of Auxerre, before he returned to Tours. When Odo returned, the other canons at Tours asked him to write an abridgement of the Moralia of Gregory the Great, and Odo at first refused on grounds that he was not qualified, but then he had a vision of Pope Gregory coming down and telling him to write it, and so Odo then wrote it. Odo spent a total of six years at Tours.[11]

It was a meeting he had with a nobleman named Count Fule, which began the steps that would lead him towards Cluny. Count Fule had taken two golden vases from St Martin's shrine and refuse to give them back. He then got a serious illness and was going to die. The count was then carried to Martin's tomb, where Odo said to him, "Give back oh wretch, the vases which thou stolest, then only will St Martin give thee back health."[12] The Count then obeyed and gave back the vases. Count Fule was then healed of his disease, and Odo told the Count that he should now become a monk. The count felt like this was asking too much from him, but he told Odo that he would get a friend named Adhegrinus to become a monk.[13]

Count Fule then told his friend Adhegrinus about this, and Adhegrinus then gave up his military career, gave his possessions to the poor, shaved his head and dedicated himself to God. Several of Adhegrinus' friends did likewise. They then went to search for a monastery that kept the Rule of St Benedict without altering or abusing it, and they could not find one anywhere in France. They then decided to head to Rome, but on the way, as they were passing through Burgundy, they perchance came upon the monastery at Baume where St Berno was Abbot. Here they finally found a monastery that kept the Rule of St Benedict without abusing it. Adhegrinus then decided to give up going to Rome and to stay at Baume instead. He then sent word back to Odo in Tours, telling him about what he had found. Odo then decided to leave Tours and head to Baume, taking his library of books with him.[14]

The Monastery at Baume[edit]

Odo was thirty years old when he entered Baume. When Odo arrived at Baume, some of the monks urged Odo to leave, because they warned him that Berno was very severe. They said, 'Hast thou, come hither for thy soul's health to join a monastery which we for our souls' health have resolved to flee? Hast thou not heard of the severity of Berno? Alas, alas, if thou but knew'st how he treats the monks. His corrections he drives home with the whip, and those whom he whips he binds with cords, he tames their spirits in prison, he afflicts them with fasts, and even after suffering all this, the miserable monks may not obtain mercy.'[15]

Odo then planned to leave, but Adhegrinus reassured him that Berno was a good abbot, and so Odo stayed. Odo did not continue his asceticism that he formerly followed, but it became much more mild at Baume.

At Baume, Odo gained the love of Berno by his humility. Whenever Odo was accused of a fault, he would throw himself at the feet of his accuser and beg for forgiveness. One time other monks accused Odo of breaking the rule, because he had been alone with one of the oblati, and Odo then threw himself at Berno's feet, begging pardon. Berno then excommunicated Odo at his feet, and Odo continued to beg for forgiveness from other monks.[16]

During meal times, the monks would listen to a reading in silence as they ate their food. Before the reading finished, they were required to collect all of their crumbs and eat them. One time, Odo was not paying attention to his crumbs, but was instead focusing on the reading, and when he finished he realized that his crumbs were all still there. The monks then immediately all went up to leave, and Odo had to go with them, but he took his crumbs in his hands and followed the monks to the chapel, where he threw himself at Berno's feet asking pardon for his sins. Berno asked what he had done, and Odo then held out his hands to show the crumbs, which miraculously turned into pearls; Odo then ordered for the pearls to be made into church ornaments.[17]

This rule about the crumbs was considered very important. One time, Odo related, there was a monk on his deathbed and he called for help in desperation. He said that he saw himself in front of God's judgment seat, and the devil was standing there holding a sack full of all the crumbs that this monk had not eaten, ready to accuse him before God. This monk twice yelled out, 'Do ye not see, do ye not see that the devil with the sack is standing among you?' then he crossed himself and fell dead.[18]

Odo also claimed that Berno laid stress on two other points of Benedict's Rule as well, which were that monks were not allowed to own property and that no flesh meat could be eaten. Odo said that when he first came to the monastery, other monks could not believe that he had renounced all his possessions, and they sent a monk to accompany him to go and get it back. While on their way, however, this monk died, and Odo then returned to the monastery.[19]

Odo had other stories from Baume about such punishments that fell on those who violated the rule banning the eating of flesh meat. He said that one time there was a monk who left the monastery to visit his sister, and when they gave him fish to eat, he said he was sick of it and wanted flesh and wine instead. This was then given to him, and after he took the first bite, he fell over dead.[20]

Another monk from Baume went home to his relatives for a visit and they offered him fish to eat, as he was allowed to eat under the Rule. But he got angry when he saw the fish and saw a brood of chickens at his feet. He then grabbed one of the chickens and said 'Let this be my fish today' and when his friends asked if he was allowed to eat this, he said, 'Fowl is not flesh, and fowl and fish have one origin and equal condition, as our hymn bears witness.' And so his relatives then prepared the chicken for him, and after he bit into it, he starting choking, and his relatives tried to hit him, but he then fell over dead.[21]

Berno loved Odo very much, and for all the monks who hated Berno's discipline, this meant that they then hated Odo. The head of the monks of this party was a monk named Wido. However, every time they could accuse Odo of any infraction of the rule, he would just humbly throw himself at their feet in brotherly love. Odo said that after Berno died, many of these monks left the monastery and went back to normal lives again.[22]

Odo felt like the monastery was the only safe place for people to be, and that most of the people outside of the monastery in the world were doomed to hellfire. He therefore sought to make his parents into monks, and he succeeded. Abbo, his father, entered a monstery. His mother became a nun and later an abbess. His brother Bernard became a monk after his unbaptized infant son was carried away by Viking raiders; this infant was later saved and brought to Baume, where Odo baptized the child and he died afterwards.[23]

Odo, one time went away from the monastery to stay at the house of a nobleman who was himself away from home. However, the man's daughter was present and she begged Odo to save her from her approaching marriage so she could be a nun. Odo, who thought that almost everyone outside the monastery was doomed to hell, felt that he had to do something for the girl's salvation. He then took the girl back to Baume. He told Berno, and Berno was angry with him, and Odo fell at his feet asking forgiveness. Odo said to Berno, 'Oh lord and father, ever from the moment that thou didst deign to receive me, a sinner, I have seen that thy sole care was the saving of souls. Other abbots may study to gain materials things and please men. Thou, relying on mercy and virtue, seek'st through the salvation of souls to please God alone. I wished to follow thy example in saving this virgin to the glory of thy name. For although in the end her tears overcame me, yet I was not unmindful of thy reproach, but I had rather suffer the flagellation of my holy father than be held guilty for her soul. And would that I could free all the women bound in the chains of the flesh who live in this province, and thou flagellate me for each in thy pious manner.'[24]

Berno then turned away his anger and told Odo to strengthen her with holy instruction every day, so that the devil wouldn't bring her back to the world. She then went to a convent and became a nun, and died not too long afterwards.[25]

Odo was ordained to the priesthood while he was at Baume by bishop Turpio of Limoges. Berno arranged the ordination without telling Odo, and obliged Odo under obedience to accept ordination. Odo was so depressed by this, however, that Berno sent Odo back to the bishop to visit him. Odo and the bishop talked about the evil condition of the church and all the abuses that were occurring, Odo spoke about the book of Jeremiah, and the bishop was so impressed with his words, that he asked Odo to write it down. Odo said he could not do so without first getting permission from Berno, and the bishop then got Berno's permission, and Odo then wrote down his second book the Collationes.[26]

Cluny[edit]

It is not clear at what point exactly Odo left Baume to go to Cluny. Berno laid the foundation to Cluny in 910, right at the beginning of the period when Odo first came to Baume, and the first monks at Cluny were monks from Baume, however, it is unclear when Odo himself arrived there. Berno had control of six monasteries when he died, three of which he gave to Wido and the other three he gave to Odo. Odo was already at Cluny by that time. The monks at Cluny had voted for Odo to become abbot, but he refused on grounds of unworthiness. The bishop needed to come and threaten Odo with excommunication if he continued to refuse, and thus Odo accepted the office.[27]

At Berno's death in 927 (Odo would have been almost 50), Odo became abbot of three monasteries: Deols, Massay and Cluny. Baume became the possession of Wido, who had been the leader of the monks that persecuted Odo when he was with them at Baume. Immediately following Berno's death, Wido attempted to gain control of Cluny by force, but Pope John X heard of this and sent a letter to Rudolf, King of the Franks to intervene and stop this. Cluny was a special monastery under papal protection.[28]

Odo continued to uphold the Benedictine Rule at Cluny without abuse or change, just as Berno had done. Throughout Odo's rule of Cluny, the monastery continually enjoined protection from both Popes and temporal rulers, who guaranteed the monastery's independence. Many times during Odo's reign, Cluny's property was extended as gifts of land were added to it.

Cluny was still not finished construction when Odo became abbot, and he continued construction efforts but he ran into financial difficulties. Baume, under Wido, of course was not going to help.

Odo had a strong devotion to St Martin of Tours for most of his life. He continued to pray to St Martin for all of his and the monastery's problems. One year, on the feast day of Martin of Tours, Odo saw an old man looking over the unfinished building. The old man then went to Odo and said that he was St Martin and that if the monks continued to persevere that he would arrange it for the money they needed to come to them. A few days later, 3000 solidi of gold was brought as a gift to Cluny.[29]

Another occasion like this occurred on the day of consecration for the oratory at Cluny. The neighbouring bishop was invited to come and do the consecration, but the bishop didn't realize how poor Cluny was, and so he came with a large group of people. The monks did not have enough food to entertain so many guests, but then a huge animal came out of the forest and stood in front of the church door. The monk at the door ran away from it, but the animal stood still there until the bishop arrived. The monks then slaughtered it and gave it to the bishop's party to eat.[30]

Odo had the habit of singing psalms whenever he travelled. He also had the habit of giving money to every beggar who he met on the road, and even taking along extra money with him for this purpose, even though the monastery was poor. Whenever a poor person gave him a gift, he insisted on paying money for it greater than the gift was worth. He taught the monks that the blind and the lame were the porters of the gates of paradise. If a monk was ever rude or harsh to a beggar who came to the monastery gates, Odo would call the beggar back and say to him, 'When he who has served thee thus, comes himself seeking entrance from thee at the gates of paradise, repay him in like manner.'[31]

Reforms of Other Monasteries[edit]

Throughout much of Western Europe, the Rule of St Benedict had been adopted by most monasteries. However, many monasteries had either abandoned or warped the Rule of St Benedict, like as Odo had seen in his 20s at Tours. Very few still kept the original Rule without great modification. In the eyes of Berno and others who thought similarly, they saw this as a kind of great evil, because the monastery was like a kind of spiritual heart of the church where people could be assured of salvation, and if this place no longer followed the Rule, then not even this place was safe any longer and the rest of the church was in danger as well. Berno, who himself may have come from a monastery that traced its roots in a line to St Benedict (see Hugh of Anzy le Duc) made it his life's work to uphold the Rule of St Benedict without alteration in the monasteries he ran. Cluny, which was left by Berno to Odo, then became the principal monastery that would continue Berno's work.

Odo continued to uphold the Rule at Cluny, but he also began to reform monasteries outside of Cluny as well. Odo was authorized by a privilege of Pope John XI in 931. The papal privilege empowered him to unite several abbeys under his supervision and to receive at Cluny monks from Benedictine abbeys not yet reformed; the greater number of the reformed monasteries, however, remained independent, and several became centres of reform. Odo became the great reforming abbot of Cluny, which became the model of monasticism for over a century and transformed the role of piety in European daily life (see Cluniac Reforms).

In the next two centuries, this would cause a huge wave within the Western Church that would touch every part of it from the papacy to the parish priest. The movement within the church to enforce priestly celibacy and put priests under discipline strongly related to this. Pope Gregory VII (see Gregorian reforms and Pope Urban II (the instigator of the first crusade) were both originally monks from Cluny. The church and western history for all time afterwards was changed by the wave that flowed from this monastery. Since the monastery itself was traced, through Berno and Hugh of Anzy le Duc, all the way back to St Benedict of Nursia, it could have been seen as though this all came from Benedict himself.

After Berno's death, the first monasteries that Odo reformed to bring them back to the Rule of St Benedict were at Romainmoutier, Tulle, and Aurillac. In 930, he reformed the monastery of Fleury.

At that time Fleury held the bones of St Benedict, which were brought there from Monte Cassino. However, by the time of Odo, it had lost its reputation for holiness and was filled with many of the same abuses that were occurring in other places. The Viking raids had caused monks at Fleury, like in many places, to go back to their villages for safety, but when they returned to the monastery again, they didn't return to their old discipline and abused the Rule, doing things they wanted to do, which were not permitted by the Rule.

King Rudolf of the Franks asked Odo to go and reform it. Odo went, but upon arriving, the monks of Fleury armed themselves with spears and swords and threatened to murder him. After a standoff for three days, Odo went on his donkey and rode towards the monastery, ready to be killed if necessary. However, the monks instead put down their weapons and went down at his feet.[32]

Odo then took over leadership of it on a temporary basis and reformed it. He encountered resistance in trying to get the monks to abide by the rule of not eating flesh meat, and the monks would patiently wait for his supply of fish to run out in the hope that he would forced to give them meat to eat. However, Odo consistently was always able to find a source for fish. A story from this time held that one day when Odo was present at Fleury for Benedict's feast day, Benedict appeared to a brother who had fallen asleep. Benedict said that he had just come back to Fleury after he had gone to Britain to try to save a monk who had left Fleury, gone back to a worldly life and crossed over to Britain, but the monk died and was taken by demons. Benedict then told the monk that since Fleury was founded, no monk of Fleury had inherited eternal life. Benedict then asked the monk if they had enough fish, and the monk said they didn't, and Benedict told him that they should fish in the marsh and not in the river. The monks then went to the marsh to fish and caught a huge catch of fish. Later that day, still on Benedict's feast day, many miracles occurred at the monastery while Odo was present.[33]

One time, while some monks from Cluny were with Odo at Fleury, the Cluniac monks were cleaning their boots on Saturday afternoon, which was their custom at Cluny. This time was a silence hour, however, one of the Fleurian monks was so annoyed at seeing this that he yelled out, thus breaking the mandatory silence, 'Tell me in what passage St Benedict ever ordered his monks to clean their shoes!' The others then tried to get him to stay quiet as the Rule demanded, but he continued 'Oh, thou who wast accustomed to gad about the countryside on business, hast thou now come hither to preach the rule and to correct the life of thy betters? By swearing and perjury thou who like a bird of prey wast accustomed to snatch away the substance of thy fellow-men, now impudently settest thyself up for a saint, as if we did not know thee of old. God did not make me a serpent that after thy manner I should hiss, nor an ox that I should bellow, but a man to speak with the tongue He gave me.' The Cluniac monk cleaning his boots then fled from these insults. The next day, at chapter, the monk who had insulted the other refused to repent and insisted he was right. Odo could not convince him, and because it was Sunday, he decided to adjourn again until the next day. But after they adjourned the monk in question was unable to speak any longer and three days later he died.[34]

In later years he also reformed many other monasteries including St Martial's and St Augustine's monasteies in Limoges, St Jean-d'Angely in Aquitaine, Jumieges in Normandy, St Peter Le Vif in Sens, and St Julian's in Tours. Odo would go and reform these monasteries, to bring them back under the Rule of St Benedict, but control over them by Cluny was very loose and they would resume self-control again once Odo had left. These monsteries, however, would go on to also reform and found other monasteries in a kind of domino effect.

In Italy[edit]

The last phase of Odo's life involved work in reforming monasteries in Italy.

The state of the church in Italy in this period was even worse than it was in Gaul. Parish priests were selected by nobles, bishops' offices were sold for money, corruption allowed for families to place their children in high places in the church, the upper clergy lived a life of senseless luxury, the lower clergy shared the same sinful pleasures as the people, and clergy everywhere kept women as concubines in the open. Even cathedral clergy would show their wives and concubines in public.[35]

Monasteries were deserted in Italy, because of continual attacks by Huns and Muslims who would often deliberately seek out monasteries to plunder, just as Vikings had done so in northern Europe. The lands of monasteries were often seized by local nobles.

Odo first came to Rome in the year 936. In Rome at that time, there was a local ruler named Alberic II of Spoleto in control of Rome and the surrounding region. He originally had oppressed monks and taken their lands, but he changed his policy and became a great supporter of monasteries. When Odo arrived in Rome, Odo took the opportunity to use Alberic's support to reform and revive monastic life in central Italy.[36]

Several Roman monasteries were rebuilt. Odo restored St Paul's outside the walls, which became Odo's headquarters in Rome. The palace on the Aventine where Alberic was born was transformed into Our Lady on the Aventine. The monasteries of St Lawrence and St Agnes, were restored and reformed. The monks of St Andre's on the Clivus Scaurus resisted a return to the Benedictine Rule, and so they were expelled and new monks were put in their place. The monastery at Farla, where the monks had completely abandoned the Rule and murdered their own abbot, was also brought under control.[37]

Odo sent his disciple Baldwin to Monte Cassino to restore it, because it had also been left to lie waste, the nearby Subiaco Abbey also received his influence. Odo also became involved in reforms as far as Naples, Salerno and Benevento. In the North, St Peter's, Ciel d'Oro in Pavia was also brought under the control of one of Odo's disciples.

St Elias' monastery in Nepi was put under the control of one of Odo's disciples. These monks resisted the rule against flesh meat and Odo's disciple struggled to keep up a constant supply of fish for them to eat. When Odo visited the monastery, a stream miraculously flowed from a nearby mountain and fish were in the stream.

Alberic fought a war with his stepfather Hugh of Lombardy and Odo was twice called in to act as a mediator between them.

A story holds that one time Odo was crossing the Alps in deep snow and his horse lost footing, causing both him and his horse to fall over a cliff, but he caught a tree and held to its branches before help could come.[38]

Another story holds that, just an Odo had done in Gaul, when Odo travelled in Italy he insisted on giving money to every beggar he met on the road. One time he met three men in poverty, but who were not begging, rather they were trying to work even though they were still in great poverty, and he noticed pots of laurel berries they were selling and he asked them to name a price for it. They gave him a tiny sum, and he insisted it was not enough, and instead got his disciple to give the three a significantly larger sum for it. After they left the town and were on the road, his disciple asked him what they were going to do with the laurel berries, and he suggested that they return them. But Odo insisted that they couldn't, because then the poor men might try to return the money. And with some difficulty his disciple convinced Odo to throw them away once they reached an empty part of the road.[39]

Another story held that one time forty robbers attempted to attack him on the road, but he continued forward singing psalms as usual. One of the robbers then said, 'Let us leave them alone for I never remember having seen such men before. We might overcome the company, but never their armour-bearer, that strenuous man. If we attack them it will be the worse for us.' The other robbers insisted that they would succeed, and then the first robber said, 'Then turn your arms against me, for as long as I am alive, no harm shall come to them.' The robbers then debated among themselves about what to do, and Odo continued on unmolested. The first robber who spoke later became a disciple of Odo.[40]

Death of Odo[edit]

In 941, in his second time mediating peace between Alberic and his stepfather, Odo felt that death was coming near. However, he increased his fasts and penances to discipline himself. He wanted to see St Martin, whom he had a lifelong devotion for, and St Martin appeared to him and said, 'Oh, holy soul, beloved of God thy call draweth near, and the last dissolution of thy body approacheth. But I, St. Martin, grant thee strength to return to thine own land, where thy life will be exchanged for death, and Christ reward thee with the blessed society of the elect.'[41]

Odo then took the journey from Italy back to Gaul, where he headed for Tours, rather than Cluny. He arrived just in time for St Martin's feastday in the year 941. On the fourth day of the festival to Martin, he developed a fever and he lost his strength. His last words before dying were, "Thou, oh Christ, spare Thy redeemed. Thou, oh Martin, receive me."[42]

Writings[edit]

Among his writings are: a comment on the Moralia of St.Gregory, a biography of Saint Gerald of Aurillac, three books of Collationes (moral essays, severe and forceful). a few sermons, an epic poem on the Redemption (Occupatio) in several books (ed. Swoboda, 1900), and twelve choral antiphons in honour of Saint Martin of Tours. Some scholars have attributed the Musica Enchiriadis to him.

A story about Odo's writing holds that one time Odo was writing a glossary to the life of St Martin written by Postumianus and Gallus. This book was not written by him, but he added more to it. This book, however, was left in a cellar which was flooded with water during a rainstorm at night. The place where the book lay was covered by a torrent, but the next day when the monks came down to the cellar they found that only the margin of the book was soaked through but all of the writing was untouched. Odo then told the monks, 'Why do ye marvel oh brothers? Know ye not that the water feared to touch the life of the saint?' Then a monk replied, 'But see, the book is old and moth-eaten, and has so often been soaked that it is dirty and faint! Can our father then persuade us that the rain feared to touch a book which in the past has been soaked through? Nay, there is another reason.' Odo then realized that they were suggesting it was preserved because he had written a glossary in it, but he then quickly gave the glory to God and St Martin.[43]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  2. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  3. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  4. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  5. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  6. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  7. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  8. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  9. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  10. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  11. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  12. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  13. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  14. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  15. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  16. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  17. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  18. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  19. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  20. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  21. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  22. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  23. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  24. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  25. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  26. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  27. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  28. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  29. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  30. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  31. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  32. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  33. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  34. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  35. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  36. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  37. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  38. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  39. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  40. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  41. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  42. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920
  43. ^ Lucy Margaret Smith, The early history of the monastery of Cluny, Oxford University Press,1920

External links[edit]