Ado of Vienne, St.
ADO OF VIENNE, ST.
Historian, archbishop of Vienne; b. Archdiocese of Sens, France, c. 800; d. Vienne, France, Dec. 16, 875. He
was born of a Gâtinais family, who offered him as a child to the Benedictine Abbey of Ferrières-en-Gâtinais, where he was trained under Abbot Lupus of Ferrières. He later spent some time studying at Prüm under Abbot Markward, and went also to Rome or Ravenna for some years—perhaps five—to gather hagiographical materials. Given charge of the parish of Saint-Romain in Lyons, Ado was later promoted to the See of Vienne some time between July 6, 859 (when Aglimar, his predecessor, died), and Oct. 22, 860 (when Ado signed the acts of the Council of Thusey).
As archbishop of Vienne he won the esteem of popes nicholas i and adrian ii, and kings Charles II the Bald and Louis the German alike, especially for his firm stand against the divorce of King lothair ii. He was active in his archdiocese as well, holding councils to reform clerical morality and to regulate the celebration of the Divine Office. The acts of these reforming councils have disappeared except for a fragment from one held in 870.
Ado is also important as an author. In his Chronicum sive Breviarium de sex mundi aetatibus ab Adamo usque ad annum 869 (Patrilogia Latina 123:23–138; Monumenta Germanica Historica: Scriptores 2:315–323), a chronicle of world history that depends on similar works by Bede, Orosius, and Isidore and on contemporary Frankish sources, he treated in interesting detail the Diocese of Vienne, listing 47 bishops accurately (Duchesne, Fastes épiscopaux de l'ancienne Gaule 150–162). But he identified the first bishop, Crescens, with the person of that name mentioned by St. Paul (2 Tm 4.10). Bishop Crescens actually lived in the third century. Ado himself may have wrenched the chronology or may simply have repeated an earlier legend. He reedited a life of St. desiderius of Vienne, one of his predecessors in the See of Vienne, who died as a result of courageously rebuking the redoubtable Brunhilde, and composed a life of St. Theuderius, a sixth-century abbot in Vienne. Ado published a martyrology called Passionum codices undecumque collecti (Patrilogia Latina 123:143–436), nine-tenths of which was taken from a similar work by florus of lyons. The remaining text Ado claimed to have derived from an ancient collection copied by him when he was in Italy at Ravenna. This portion of the text has been condemned as sheer forgery on Ado's part; it only added to the already complicated problems concerning martyrologies. usuard was much influenced by Ado's work.
Feast: Dec. 16.
Bibliography: j. mabillon, Acta sanctorum ordinis S. Benedicti (Venice 1733–40) 6:278–290. w. l. kremers, Ado von Vienne (Steyl 1911). a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, ed. h. thurston and d. attwater (New York 1956) 4:571–572. j. l. baudot and l. chaussin, Vies des saints et des bienhereux selon l'ordre du calendrier avec l'historique des fêtes (Paris 1935–56) 12:482–494. a. m. zimmermann, Lexicon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 1957–65) 1:150–51.
[c. m. aherne]