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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Today (18. July) is the feast day of:

Philastrius (d. 387)  Philastrius was a Spaniard who took it as his
personal mission to wander around Italy disputing with Arians, an
opposition he continued after he became bishop of Brescia.  P. wrote
a text called *Catalogue of Heresies* for his flock.

Pambo (d. c. 390)  Pambo was a disciple of St. Antony of the Desert.
He helped found the monasteries in the Nitrian Desert in Egypt.  He
was an extreme ascetic and popular spiritual advisor.

Arnulf of Metz (d. c. 643)  Arnulf was a very useful ancestor to the
Carolingians as they gradually seized power in the kingdom of the
Franks.  After a stint of marriage, both A. and his wife decided to
take up the religious life---she became a nun and he wanted to become
a monk, but was made bishop of Metz in c. 610 instead.  A. was a
royal counsellor and also concerned himself with the well-being of
his diocese.  In c. 626 he retired to become a hermit (the monastery
of Remiremont later grew up on the site of his hermitage).

Frederick of Utrecht (d. 838)  The grandson of a Frisian king,
Frederick became a priest at Utrecht, renowned for his holiness and
learning.  He became an active missionary, continuing that work when
he became bishop in c. 825.  He was finally assassinated at
Maastricht---it's not clear if they were hired by Empress Judith
(whom F. had reproached for immorality) or inhabitants of Walcheren,
who deeply resented F's missionary encroachments.

Bruno of Segni (d. 1123)  Bruno was a son of a noble Piedmontese
family who became a canon at Siena in 1079, going on to become bishop
in 1080.  He was an important biblical scholar who defended the
doctrine of the Real Presence against Berengar of Tours, worked
against simony, and strongly supported Gregory VII in the Investiture
Contest.  He resigned in 1095 to become a monk at Monte Cassino, but
was finally forced to return to his see.  B. was canonized in 1183.

John the Much-Suffering (d. 1160)  This Russian was bound a
determined to be a virgin, despite fierce resistance from his body.
So J. took up a highly ascetic life, becoming a recluse in one of the
caves of the Kievan Caves Monastery.  His ascetic feats included even
burying himself up to the shoulders for all of one Lent.  Despite all
the work, it took thirty years for him to get rid of his "fleshly
passions."

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