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Majolus of Cluny, St.


Fourth abbot of Cluny; b. Valensolle or Avignon, France, c. 90615; d. Souvigny, May 11, 994. Majolus (or Mayeul) studied at Lyons and became archdeacon of Mâcon. He refused the bishopric of Besançon and was instead admitted to cluny as a benedictine monk. There Abbot Aymard made him apocrisiarius and librarian and appointed him coadjutor abbot in 954 when Aymard himself went blind. Majolus held that post until Aymard's death in 965, when he succeeded him as abbot of Cluny. Under Majolus's rule the cluniac reform spread widely. He reformed monasteries in the Kingdom of Burgundy, in Italy (at Pavia, Ravenna, and Rome), and in France (Saint-Maur-des-Fossés and Saint-Bénigne-de-Dijon, to which he sent william of saint-bÉnigne). In 974 Emperor otto ii offered Majolus the papal tiara, which he refused. In 991 Majolus appointed odilo his coadjutor abbot at Cluny so that he could devote the rest of his life to prayer. He died at the Abbey of souvigny, while traveling to Paris to reform saint-denis at the request of Hugh Capet; he was canonized by popular acclaim.

Feast: May 11.

Bibliography: Two lives, one by the monk Syrus, the other by Odilo, Acta Sanctorum May 2:653698. Recueil des chartes de l'abbaye de Cluny, comp. a. bernard and ed. a. bruel, 6 v. (Paris 18761903). e. sackur, Die Cluniacenser, 2 v. (Halle 189294) 1:205256. l. m. smith, The Early History of the Monastery of Cluny (Oxford 1920) 100143. p. schmitz, Histoire de l'Ordre de Saint-Benoît, 7 v. (Maredsous, Bel. 194256) v.1, 2, passim. s. hilpisch, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 6:1307. d. iogna-prat, Agni immaculati: recherches sur les sources hagiographiques relatives à Saint Maieul de Cluny (Paris 1988).

[b. hamilton]

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