Milo (bishop of Trier)

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Archbishop of Trier
Church Catholic
Province Austrasia
Diocese Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate, Austrasia (today Germany)

Reims, Rhineland-Palatinate, Austrasia (today France)
Appointed 722
In office 722
Quashed 744
Predecessor St. Leudwinus
Successor Abel
Opposed to St. Boniface
Ordination Benedictine
Personal details
Birth name Milo of Trier
Born Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate, Austrasia (today Germany)
Died Meulenwald, Rhineland-Palatinate, Austrasia (today Germany)
Buried Meulenwald, Rhineland-Palatinate, Austrasia (today Germany)
Nationality Frankish
Denomination Chalcedonian Christianity
Parents St. Leudwinus and Willigard of Bavaria

Milo of Trier (d. 762 or 763) was the son of St. Leudwinus and was his successor as Archbishop of Trier and Archbishop of Reims.[1][2] His great-uncle St. Basinus had preceded his father as Trier.[1] He is the great-grandson of Saint Sigrada and Saint Leodegarius is his great uncle.

Early life[edit]

Milo was the son of the Leudwinus of Trier and Willigard of Bavaria.[1][2] He was born a nobleman and later styled Count of Trier.[2]

His brother was Wido (Gui), Count of Hornbach.[1] Chrotrude, Duchess of Austrasia (Rotrude), was apparently his sister.[2]

He received a monastic education as was the custom for Medieval noblemen and Milo became an ordained Benedictine monk.[3] Prior to his ecclesiastical career, Milo also had a military career, something he had in common with his brother-in-law Charles Martel.[3]

Archbishop of Trier[edit]

As the scion of one of the most powerful Frankish clans in Austrasia, Milo's future seemed secure.[3] He succeeded his father as Archbishop of Trier become the third generation of his family to hold this position.[3]

Bishop of Reims[edit]

When Charles Martel drove Saint Rigobert from Reims, Milo was appointed his successor.[2][3]

As bishop, Milo became a controversial figure in the history of the Church.[2][3] His avarice and fondness of earthly pleasures soon placed him in opposition with the church.[2][3]

Milo did not lead a spiritual life and flagrantly ignored the Rules of Saint Benedict that governed his colleagues.[2][3] He habitually used church property for his personal and political purposes, usually to indulge his illegitimate sons.[2][3] He accumulated much of the riches of his dioceses and developed a reputation for corruption.[2]

Accounts of Milo's time as bishop are collected in the Gesta Treverorum.


Politically, Milo was a formidable opponent of St. Boniface's reforms of the church in the eastern Frankish Empire.[2][3] However when Milo's own behavior invited the criticism of Pope Zachary, Boniface seized the opportunity and began a campaign to have Milo replaced.[2]

In March 744, Boniface successfully pursued the Synod of Soissons to remove Milo as Archbishop of Trier.[2] By that time, Milo's behavior had become so repugnant even his formidable political connections could not save him.[2] Though he put up a lengthy resistance, Milo was deposed as bishop and replaced by Abel.


Milo was killed by a wild boar in a hunting accident in Meulenwald near Trier sometime between 753 and 758.[2][3][4]

Since the 4th century, it had been a tradition to bury the bishops of Trier in the crypt at St. Maximin's Abbey in Trier.[4][5] However, due to his controversial life, Milo was not given this honor and was instead buried near the scene of the accident where a memorial, The Cross of Milo, was erected.[3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Junges, Reinhold. "Mettlach Parish Church: St. Lutwinus Biography (Pfarrkirche St. Lutwinus Mettlach)". The New Church Leader (Neuer Kirchenführer erschienen). Verlag Schnell und Steiner Regensburg. Retrieved June 27, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Hahn, Heinrich (1885). Milo: General German Biography (Milo In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie) (ADB). Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot. p. 758. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Zenz, Emil (2004). The Lay Bishop Milo (Der Laienbischof Milo). Trier-Ehrang: Jahrbuch Ehranger Heimat. pp. 92–94. 
  4. ^ a b c Schuhn, Werner (1987). The Cross of Milo: History, legend and tradition is a venerable cultural landmark(Das Milokreuz. Geschichte, Sage und Brauch um ein ehrwürdiges Kulturdenkmal). Trier (Trier): Jahrbuch Landkreis Trier-Saarburg. pp. 292–297. ISSN 0942-0835. 
  5. ^ Sanderson, Warren (December 1965). "The Early Mediaeval Crypts of Saint Maximin at Trier". The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. 24 (4): 304. doi:10.2307/988315. 
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
St. Leudwinus
Archibishop of Trier
c. 722–762/3?
Succeeded by
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Reims
c. 722–762/3?
Succeeded by