November 29 – Grandson of the one who defeated Charles Martel in battle

November 29, 2012

St. Radbod, Bishop of Utrecht, Confessor

This holy prelate was, by his father, of noble French extraction; and, by his mother, Radbod, the last king or prince of the Frisons was his great grandfather, whose name was given him by his mother.

The first tincture of learning and piety he received under the tuition of Gunther, bishop of Cologne, his uncle by the mother: his education was completed in the courts of the emperors Charles the Bald, and his son Louis the Stammerer, to which he repaired not to aspire after honors, but to perfect himself in the sciences, which were taught there by the ablest masters.

The hymns and office of St. Martin, an eclogue on St. Lebwin, a hymn on St. Swidbert, and some other pious poems which are extant, are monuments of his piety and application to polite literature, as it was then cultivated: but the sacred duties principally employed him.

In a short chronicle which he compiled, he says upon the year 900; “I Radbod, a sinner, have been assumed, though unworthy, into the company of the ministers of the church of Utrecht; with whom I pray that I may attain to eternal life.” Before the end of that year he was unanimously chosen bishop of that church; but opposed his election, understanding how much more difficult and dangerous it is to command than to obey. The obstacles which his humility and apprehensions raised, being at length removed, he put on the monastic habit, his most holy predecessors having been monks, because the church of Utrecht had been founded by priests of the monastic Order. After he had received the episcopal consecration, he never tasted any flesh meat, often fasted two or three days together, and allowed himself only the coarsest and most insipid fare. His charity to the poor was excessive. By a persecution raised by obstinate sinners he was obliged to leave Utrecht; and died happily at Daventer, on the 29th of November in 918.

See his life written by one in the same century in Mabillon, sæc. 5. Ben. et Annal. Ben. t. 3. l. 40. § 26. Usuard, Molanus, Miræus, Becka, etc.

Lives of the Saints, by Fr. Alban Butler, Volume XI: November, p. 580.

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