Geoffrey of Vendôme

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Benedictine abbot, cardinal, staunch defender of the gregorian reform; b. Angers, France, c. 1070; d. Angers, March 26, 1132. Geoffrey (Goffridus) was born of a noble family, entered the monastery of Sainte-Trinité at vendÔme, and in 1093, while only a deacon, was elected abbot and consecrated by Bp. ivo of chartres. Hearing of the plight of Pope urban ii in his struggle against the antipope guibert of ravenna, Geoffrey traveled to Rome and became a strong ally of the Pope. In 1094, with Urban finally in the Lateran palace, Geoffrey was consecrated cardinal priest of St. Prisca on the Aventine. An intimate of Urban and the succeeding popes, paschal ii and callistus ii, Geoffrey was soon caught up in the investiture struggle. In a series of eight polemics (libelli ), he followed the lead of Cardinal humbert of silva candida and advocated that simony and lay investiture be branded as heretical. Geoffrey frequently served as papal legate and was present at the Councils of Clermont (1095), Saintes (1096), and reims (1131). He stayed true to his monastery and maintained the privileges of Vendôme in a period of great unrest. His letters (more than 185) remain a precious source of information for 12th-century Church politics. Other writings include several short tracts (e.g., on Baptism, on the Eucharist), 11 sermons, a few hymns, and a commentary on the Psalms (unpublished).

Bibliography: Editions. Patrologia latina, ed. j. p. migne, 33290. Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Libelli de lite, 2:680700, libelli. MS Paris, BN lat. 12959, for the commentary on the Psalms. Biography. l. compain, Étude sur Geoffroi Vendôme (Paris 1891). e. sackur, Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Libelli de lite, 2:676680; "Zur Chronologie der Streitschriften des Gotfried von Vendôme," Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft für altere deutsche Geschichte Kunde, 17:329347; "Die Briefe Gotfrieds von Vendôme," ibid. 18:666673. j. j. herzog and a. hauck, eds., Realencycklopädie für protestantische Theologie 7:3738. h. meinert, "Die Fälschungen Gottfrieds von Vendôme," Archiv für Urkundenforschung 10 (1928) 232325. a. wilmart, "La Collection chronologique des écrits de Geoffroi abbé de Vendôme," Revue Benedictine 43 (1931) 239245. Dictionnaire de théologie catholique (DTC), Tables générales 1:179596.

[r. b. palmer]