Aldric of le Mans, St.

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Bishop; b. c. 800; d. March 24, 856. The son of half-Saxon, half-Bavarian parents, Aldric spent his youth at the court of charlemagne at Aachen, where he became a friend of Louis the Pious. Bishop drogo of Metz ordained him priest, named him precentor, and placed him in charge of the cathedral school. But when Louis the Pious became emperor, he recalled Aldric (Aldericus, Audry) to Aachen, making him his chaplain and confessor. Named bishop of Le Mans and consecrated Dec. 22, 832, by the metropolitan of Tours, Aldric received the emperor, who came to celebrate Christmas with him. As bishop Aldric distinguished himself by his charity, disciplined his clergy, and built the monastery of Saint-Martin in his city, as well as the Saint-Julian fountain. He fought with the monks of Saint-Calais, compelling them to recognize his authority over their abbey. On the death of Louis the Pious (840) they allied themselves with the enemies of Emperor Charles II the Bald and had Aldric exiled from Le Mans. In 846, however, a royal charter restored him to his see. However, when Rainald became abbot of Saint-Calais he succeeded, a few years before Aldric's death, in winning from Charles the Bald and the synod of Bonneuil recognition of his abbey's episcopal exemption (855). Aldric is buried in the abbey church of Saint-Vincent in Le Mans. In addition to three testaments (the first two confirm legacies to various churches and counsel on how to maintain peace between clerics and monks; the third is an ascetic piece) the bishop composed the Gesta Aldrici, in which he reports on his management of the diocese in the first 44 chapters, the rest of the work being a later addition.

Feast: Jan. 7.

Bibliography: a. e. molinier, et al., Les Sources de L'histoire de France (Paris 190106) No. 812122. Gesta domni Aldrici, ed. r. charles and l. froger (Mamers 1889). j. p. e. havet, Oeuvres, 2 v. (Paris 1896) 1:271317, the Actus pontificum usually attributed now to the Chorbishop David. l. duchesne, Fastes épiscopaux de l'ancienne Gaule v.2. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, ed. h. thurston and d. attwater (New York 1956) 1:48. m. besson, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 2:6869.

[j. daoust]