Anselm of Nonantola, St.

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Duke, abbot; d. March 3, 803. Anselm, who was the Duke of Friuli in the Lombard Kingdom and brother of Giseltrudis, the wife of King Aistulf, founded the Benedictine abbeys of Fanano in 750 and Nonantola c. 752. He withdrew from the world, entered Nonantola, and in 753 was appointed its first abbot by Pope Stephen II. In 756 the relics of Pope St. Sylvester I were translated from Rome to Nonantola. Presumably, this was a "pious theft," because at the time King Aistulf was pillaging the Via Salaria, the former location of the relics. Anselm founded a number of hospices for the poor and for pilgrims. For a time he was persona non grata to Aistulf's successor, King desiderius, and spent several years in exile at Monte Cassino.

Feast: March 3.

Bibliography: Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores rerum Langobardicarum 208209, 503, 566571. p. f. kehr, Regesta Pontificum Romanorum. Italia Pontifica. (Berlin 190635) 5:330362. r. aigrain, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 451452. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, ed. h. thurston and d. attwater (New York 1956) 1:470.

[a. g. biggs]