[St. Pachomius Library]

Theodulf, Bishop of Orléans

VIII/IX Centuries
Born c. 750/60 in Spain, Theodulf was of Visigothic descent; he came to Charlemagne's kingdom in 788 and joined the circle of scholars at the Carolingian court. The emperor appointed him abbot of Fleury and later bishop of Orléans. Theodulf also was abbot of St-Benoît-sur-Loire and a number of other monasteries. He was interested in education and promoted the establishment of parochial schools in his diocese. A gifted satirist, Theodulf wrote poetry of great technical accomplishment. He emended the text of the Vulgate by using the Hebrew texts as well as those of the Septuagint.

Theodulf defended the filioque in De spiritu sancto (On the Holy Spirit) and wrote a treatise on baptism. He may have written about the creed and the mass as well. His "Gloria, laus, et honor" became the Palm Sunday processional in the Western church. Theodulf was also interested in ecclesiastical art and architecture. Stephen IV/V gave him the pallium in 816, but Theodulf's episcopal career ended two years later, when Louis the Pious, having charged him with conspiracy, deposed him. Theodulf was exiled to a monastery at Angers, where he died in 821.

Karen Rae Keck


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