Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 1997-06 > 0865149129

From: Josh <>
Subject: St. Arnulf & St. Begga (was: Ancestry of Robert the Strong)
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 1997 03:12:09 -0400

> Just out of curiosity, why were Arnulf, Bishop of Metz, and Begga
> canonized?

As to the rationale, I know of no clear record. If I recall, the rules
for canonization were not nearly so stringent then as now. A reasonably
good person who rose to prominence and memorability as even by entering
Charlemagne's pedigree might be canonized for no particularly good
reason. Here is what Butler has to say about these two:

St. Arnulf or Arnoul, Bishop of Metz (c. AD 643) - July 18

This Arnulf, born of noble parents and educated in learning and piety,
was called to the court of King Theodebert II of Austrasia, in which he
was equally admired for prudence in council and valour in the field: he
joined the virtues of a Christian with the duties of a statesman.
Having married a noble lady called Doda, he had by her two sons, Clodulf
and Ansegisel; by the latter's marriage with a daughter of Bd Pepin
(called "of Landen") the Carlovingian kings of France descended from St.
Arnoul. Fearing the danger of entangling his soul in the many affairs
which passed through his hands, he wanted to retire to the monastery of
Lerins, but was stopped by the clergy and people of Metz demanding him
for their bishop. He was therefore consecreated about the year 610, and
while fulfilling his new duties with exactness, he continued to take a
prominent part in public affairs: as, for example, on the death of
Theodebert and his brother Theirry, when with other nobles he called
Clotaire of Neustria to the throne of Austrasia. Ten years later
Clotaire divided his dominions, and giving charge of Austrasia to his
son Dagobert, appointed St. Arnoul his chief counsellor. The holy
bishop did not for long continue to guide this prince; he asked and
received permission to quit the court, which he had long wished to do
(Dagobert at first threatened to cut Arnoul's son's head off if he went
away). He then resigned his bishopric, and retired with a friend, St.
Romaricus, to a hermitage in the Vosges mountains, later the monastery
of Remiremont. Here he died.

St. Begga, widow (AD 693) - December 17

Pepin of Landen, mayor of the palace to three Frankish kings, and
himself commonly called Blessed, was married to a saint, Bd Itta or Ida,
and two fo their three children figure in the Roman Martyrology: St.
Gertrude of Nivelles and her elder sister, St. Begga. Gertrude refused
to marry and was an abbess soon after she was twenty, but Begga married
Ansegisilus, son of St. Arnulf of Metz, and spent practically the whole
of her long life as a nobleman's wife "in the world". Of this union was
born Pepin of Herstal, the founder of the Carlovingian dynasty in
France. After the deather of her husband, St. Begga in 691 built at
Andenne on the Meuse seven chapels representing the Seven Churches of
Rome, around a central church, and in connection therewith she
established a convent and colonized it with nuns from her long-dead
sister's abbey at Nivelles. It afterwards became a house of canonesses
and the Lateran canons regular commemorate St. Begga as belonging to
their order. She is also venerated by the Beguines of Belgium as their
patroness, but the common statement that she founded them is a mistake
due to the similarity of the names. St. Begga died abbess of Andenne
and was buried there.

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