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St. Alderic
7-Jan

From Butler's Lives of the Saints 1895:
ST. ALDRIC, BISHOP OF MANS, C.

THIS saint was born of a noble family, of partly Saxon and partly
Bavarian extraction, about the year 800. At twelve years of age he was
placed by his father in the court of Charlemagne, in the family of Lewis
le Debonnaire, where, by his application to the exercises of devotion,
and to serious studies, and by his eminent virtue, he gained the esteem
of the whole court. But the false lustre of worldly honors had no charms
to one who, from his infancy, had entertained no other desire than that
of consecrating himself to the divine service. About the year 821,
bidding adieu to the court, he retired from Aix-la-chapelle to Metz,
where he entered himself amongst the clergy, in the bishop's seminary,
and received the clerical tonsure. Two years after, he was promoted to
the holy orders of deacon, and, after three years more, to the
priesthood. The emperor Lewis le Debonnaire called him again to court,
and made him his first chaplain and his confessor. In 832, St. Aldric
was chosen bishop of Mans, and consecrated on the 22d of December. The
emperor arrived at Mans three days after, and kept the {106} Christmas
holydays with him. The holy pastor was humble, patient, severe towards
himself, and mild and charitable to all others. He employed both his
patrimony and his whole interest and credit in relieving the poor,
redeeming captives, establishing churches and monasteries, and promoting
piety and religion. In the civil wars which divided the French monarchy,
his fidelity to his prince, and to his successor Charles the Bald, was
inviolable, for which he was for almost a year expelled, by the
factious, from his see; though it is a subject of dispute whether this
happened in the former or in the latter reign. It was a principal part
of his care, to maintain an exact discipline in his clergy; for whose
use he drew up a collection of canons, of councils, and decretals of
popes, called his Capitulars, which seems to have been the most learned
and judicious work of that kind which that age produced, so that the
loss of it is much regretted.[1] Some fragments have reached us of the
excellent regulations which he made for the celebration of the divine
service, in which he orders ten wax candles, and ninety lamps with oil,
to be lighted up in his cathedral on all great festivals.[2] We have
three testaments of this holy prelate extant.[3] The last is an edifying
monument of his sincere piety: in the two first, he bequeaths several
lands and possessions to many churches of his diocese, adding prudent
advice and regulations for maintaining good order, and a spirit of
charity, between the clergy and monks. In 836, he was deputed by the
council of Aix-la-chapelle, with Erchenrad, bishop of Paris, to Pepin,
king of Aquitain, who was then reconciled with the emperor his father;
and that prince was prevailed on by them to cause all the possessions of
churches, which had been seized by those of his party, to be restored.
Our saint assisted at the eighth council of Paris, in 846, and at the
council of Tours, in 849. The two last years of his life he was confined
to his bed by a palsy, during which time he redoubled his fervor and
assiduity in holy prayer, for which he had from his infancy an
extraordinary ardor. He died the 7th of January, 856, having been bishop
almost twenty-four years. He was buried in the church of St. Vincent, to
which, and the monastery to which it belongs, he had been a great
benefactor. His relics are honorably preserved there at this day, and
his festival has been kept at Mans from time immemorial. See his life
published by Baluze, T. 3, Miscell. from an ancient MS. belonging to his
church. The author produces many original public instruments, and seems
to have been contemporary. (See Hist Lit. de la France, T. 5, p. 145.)
Another life, probably compiled by a canon of the cathedral of Mans, in
the time of Robert, successor to Saint Aldric, is given us by Mabillon,
Annal. T. 3, p. 46, 246, 397, &c., but inserts some false pieces. (See
Hist. Lit. ib. p. 148.) The life of St. Aldric, which we find in
Bollandus, is a modern piece composed by John Moreau, canon of Mans.

Footnotes:
1. See Baluze, Capitul. Regnum Fr. T. 2, p. 44.
2. Ibid. p. 143.
3. Ib. p. 63, 70, 72, 80.

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