Saint Benedict of Aniane
Feast Day is February 12th
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 his brother. 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.
Louis built Maursmünster Abbey as a model abbey for Benedict in Alsace. Benedict died at Kornelimünster Abbey, a monastery Louis had built for him to serve as the base for Benedict's supervisory work.
from Saint of the Day Lives, Lessons and Feast, By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
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