RABANUS MAURUS, ABBOT AND BISHOP
Rabanus Maurus (780–856) is credited with composing the hymn “Veni, Creator Spiritus” (Lat., “Come, Creator Spirit”) and for laying the foundation for another hymn, “King of Kings and Lord of Lords,” both of which are still sung today. Born in Mainz, he was educated at the monastery of Fulda and then sent to Tours to study under Alcuin, the English biblical scholar and adviser to the emperor Charlemagne. Under Alcuin’s guidance, Rabanus became a part of the Carolingian renewal of biblical studies and liturgy. He wrote scriptural commentaries and developed a spirituality that emphasized an organized prayer life. He was ordained a priest in 815 and elected abbot of Fulda in 822. In 1847, he was elected archbishop of Mainz. His own devotion to the Holy See was so intense that he was known as the “pope’s slave.”
His feast is not observed on the General Roman Calendar.