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Odo of Cluny, St.


Second abbot of Cluny; b. Aquitaine, c. 879; d. Tours, Nov. 18, 942. He was the son of Ebbo I, Lord of Déols, who dedicated him to St. martin of tours. Odo received his early education at the court of Duke William of Aquitaine and then studied the liberal arts at Tours and at Paris under remigius of auxerre. After having received the tonsure at 19, Odo lived an austere and industrious life as canon of St. Martin of Tours. Under the direction of Bl. berno, he became a monk at Baume, a Cluniac monastery, where he was a master at the age of 30. His humility won the confidence of Berno, first abbot of cluny, who had him ordained, and then in 927 elected as his successor as abbot of Cluny. While abbot, Odo received 188 deeds of donation. By March 931 Pope john xi granted Cluny the privilege of exemption and authorized Odo to reform so many monasteries in Gaul and Italy that the medieval chronicler flodoard of reims called Odo "the restorer of monasteries and of the Holy Rule." Odo was the initiator of the Cluniac monastic observance, the ordo cluniacensis (see cluniac reform). Struck by the deplorable state of the Church in his day, Odo insisted upon the value of the monastic life to the Church: the "apostolic life" of the monks was a continuation of the renewal and purification begun at Pentecost. Both leo vii in 936 and 939, and stephen viii in 941, entrusted him with the peace negotiations in those Italian conflicts that involved the interest of the Roman Church. Odo fell sick in Rome and returned to Tours where he died, having already designated Aymard as his successor at Cluny. Odo's relics are kept at l'Isle-Jourdain (Gers). His literary work includes the Moralia in Job, a résumé of the Moralia of Gregory I the Great [Patrologia Latina, ed. J. P. Migne (Paris 187890) 133:107152]; Collationes, conferences or lectures where Odo's patristic and humanistic culture is particularly apparent (Patrologia Latina 133:517638); Occupatio, a poem in seven books, which is a meditation on sacred history (ed. A. Svoboda, Leipzig 1900); Vita s. Geraldi Auriliacensis comitis (Patrologia Latina 133:639704); and the Vita Gregorii Turonensis episcopi (Patrologia Latina 133:513516). He wrote 12 anthems and four hymns in honor of St. Martin, as well as the hymn De corpore Christi [Patrologia Latina 133:513516, Analecta Hymnica 50 (Leipzig 1907) 265270]. The musical works attributed to Odo (Patrologia Latina 133:755816) are probably apocryphal.

Feast: Nov. 18 (French Benedictine Congregation), April 29 (Benedictine Order).

Bibliography: Sources. m. marrier and a. duchesne, eds., Bibliotheca cluniacensis (Paris 1614; repr. 1915). Patrologia Latina, ed. j. p. migne (Paris 187890) 133:9816. a. bruel, ed., Recueil des chartes de l'abbaye de Cluny, 6 v. (Paris 18761903) 1:278530; 5:844845. f. stegmÜller, Repertorium biblicum medii aevi (Madrid 194961) v.4 611720. Literature. j. h. pignot, Histoire de l'Ordre de Cluny, 3 v. (Autun 1868) v.1. m. manitius, Geschichte der lateinischen Literatur des Mittelalters, 3 v. (Munich 191131) 2:2027. j. leclercq, "L'Idéal monastique de saint O. d'après ses oeuvres," À Cluny: Congrès scientifique (Dijon 1950) 227232. p. thomas, "Saint O. de Cluny et son oeuvre musicale," ibid. 171180. j. laporte, "Saint O., disciple de saint Grégoire le Grand," ibid. 138143. john of salerno, St. O. of Cluny, tr. and ed. g. sitwell (New York 1958). j. semmler, Lexicon für Theologie und Kirche 2 7:110001. m. huglo, "Odo" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 13, ed. s. sadie, 503 (New York 1980). d. m. randel, ed., The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music 647 (Cambridge 1996). n. slonimsky, ed. Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Eighth Edition 1329 (New York 1992).

[r. grÉgoire]

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