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Odo of Cluny

From Academic Kids

Saint Odo of Cluny (ca. 878 - 18 November, 942), a saint of the Roman Catholic Church, was the second abbot of Cluny. He enacted various reforms in the Cluniac monastery system of France and Italy.

He was the son of a feudal lord of Deols, near Le Mans and received his early education at the court of William the Pious, duke of Aquitaine, then studied at Paris under Remigius of Auxerre. About 909, he became a monk, priest, and then superior of the abbey school in Baume, whose abbot, Berno, was the founder of the abbey of Cluny in 910. Odo followed him to Cluny, bringing his library; there he became abbot on Berno's death in 927.

Authorized by a privilege of Pope John XI in 931, Odo reformed the monasteries in Aquitaine, northern France, and Italy. The papal privilege empowered him to unite several abbeys under his supervision and to receive at Cluny monks from Benedictine abbeys not yet reformed; the greater number of the reformed monasteries, however, remained independent, and several became centres of reform. Odo became the great reforming abbot of Cluny, which became the model of monasticism for over a century and transformed the role of piety in European daily life.

Between 936 and 942 he visited Italy several times, founding in Rome the monastery of Our Lady on the Aventine and reforming several convents, e.g. Subiaco and Monte Cassino. He was sometimes entrusted with important political missions, e.g., when peace was arranged between Hugh of Arles and Alberic I of Spoleto.

Among his writings are: a biography of St Gerald of Aurillac, three books of Collationes (moral essays, severe and forceful). a few sermons, an epic poem on the Redemption (Occupatio) in several books (ed. Swoboda, 1900), and twelve choral antiphons in honour of St Martin of Tours.

His feast day is the 18th of November.

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