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Ivo of Chartres, St.


Bishop; b. Chartres, France, c. 1040; d. there Dec. 23, 1115. Ivo studied at Paris, then at the Abbey of Bec in Normandy. As a priest he was attached to the church of Nesle in Picardy, and later became provost of the monastery of Canons Regular of Saint-Quentin at Beauvais. He finally became bishop of Chartres, which see he occupied from November 1090 until his death. He traveled widely in France to attend numerous councils. His writings include 291 letters, 25 sermons, and two canonical collections (see ivo of chartres, collection of).

He was a remarkable writer for his era, well informed on the scientific renaissance then in progress and imbued with ideals of friendship, humanity, and mercy. As a theologian, he contributed to the fixing of the number of Sacraments at seven. His reservations on the subject of the Crusades and his use of exclusively religious sanctions manifested his totally spiritual conception of the Church.

In his conflicts with secular rulers and in the investi ture struggle, he defended the freedom of the bishop and protected the monasteries of monks and clerics regular, but he did not favor exemption or the centralization typified by papal legates. With a view to the reform of the Church, he brought about acceptance of the distinction between the election of bishops, which was to be free and clerical, and their investiture by the prince, which was to take place only afterward and to be of limited significance. This moderate reforming tendency bore fruit in the Concordat of Worms in 1122.

Feast: May 23.

Bibliography: ivo of chartres, Patrologia Latina, ed. j. p. migne, 217 v. (Paris 187890) 162:11296 (letters), 506610 (sermons); Correspondance 10901098, ed. and tr. j. leclercq (Paris 1949) contains letters 170. The Miracles of Saint James, tr. from Liber sancti Jacobi, tr. t. f. coffey, l. k. davidson and m. dunn (New York 1996). r. sprandel, Ivo von Chartres und seine Stellung in der Kirchengeschichte (Stuttgart 1962). f. lot and r. fawtier, eds., Histoire des institutions françaises au moyen âge (Paris 1957). m. grandjean, Laïcs dans l'Eglise (Paris 1994).

[j. leclercq]

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