Chrodegang of Metz, St.
CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ST.
Bishop, who introduced Roman liturgy into the Frankish Church and wrote a rule for the common life of cathedral clergy; b. Hesbaye, Brabant, 712; d. Metz, March 6, 766. After being educated in the abbey school of saint-trond, he went to the court of charles martel and became his chancellor. He was consecrated bishop of metz in 742 but continued to hold his civil office under pepin iii, mayor of the Palace. In 748 Chrodegang founded the Benedictine Abbey of gorze. Later he founded the Abbey of lorsch. In 753 Pepin, now king of the franks, sent the bishop to Rome to offer refuge in France to Pope stephen ii, who was besieged by the lombards. Stephen gave Chrodegang the personal title of archbishop and appointed him papal legate to the kingdom of the Franks. In this capacity Chrodegang presided over the meeting held at Quiercysur-Oise (754) and persuaded the Frankish lords to go to war against Aistulf, the Lombard king, in order to win back the papal lands. He also had a prominent voice in all the reforming councils of the period, proving during his 23-year episcopate that he was the true successor to boniface as the reformer of the Frankish Church. Chrodegang was one of those responsible for the introduction of the roman rite and gre-gorian chant into the Frankish Church (see gallicanrites). Apparently he observed the Roman practice on his early visit to Rome and sent chanters to learn it. The school of chant they established in Metz upon their return became widely known (see carolingian reform).
Chrodegang formed the clergy of his cathedral church of St. Stephen into a community that lived in cloister. The rule he wrote for them was based on the benedictine rule and consisted of a preface and 34 chapters. The clergy were to chant the Divine Office in common and to eat and sleep within the cloister. Every day a chapter of the rule was to be read in common, and from this the gathering itself began to be called "chapter." These canons regular did not take a vow of poverty. It is to the credit of Chrodegang's spiritual leadership that he could induce clergy, not bound by monastic vow, to undertake a quasi-monastic observance. Thus Chrodegang is one of the founders of the historic institution of Canons Regular (see canons, chapter of). His rule spread to other churches near Metz, and it was known in England and Italy—perhaps even in the Diocese of Rome.
Feast: March 6.
Bibliography: chrodegang of metz, Regula canonicorum, ed. w. schmitz (Hanover 1889). Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores 2:267–268; 10:552–572. Saint Chrodegang, communications présentées au Colloque tenu à Metz à l'occasion du douzième centenaire de sa mort (Metz 1967). É morhain, "Origine… de la Regula canonicorum de saint C., " Miscellanea Pio Paschini, 2 v. (Rome 1948–49) 1:173–185. g. hocquard, Catholicisme 2:1094–96. j. c. dickinson, The Origins of the Austin Canons (London 1950).
[c. e. sheedy]