ST. RADBOD, BISHOP OF UTRECHT C.
THIS holy prelate was, by his father, of noble
French extraction; and by his mother, Radbod, the last king or prince
of the Frisons was his great grandfather, whose name was given him by
his mother. The first tincture of learning and piety he received
under the tuition of Gunther, bishop of Cologne, his uncle by the
mother; his education was completed in the courts of the emperors
Charles the Bald and his son Louis the Stammerer, to which he
repaired, not to aspire after honors, but to perfect himself in the
sciences, which were taught there by the ablest masters. The hymns
and office of St. Martin, an eclogue on St. Lebwin, a hymn on St.
Swidbert, and some other pious poems which are extant, are monuments
of his piety and application to polite literature, as it was then
cultivated: but the sacred luties principally employed him. In a
short chronicle which he compiled, he says upon the year 900: “I
Radbod, a sinner, have been assumed, though unworthy, into the
company of the ministers of the church of Utrecht; with whom I pray
that I may attain to eternal life.” Before the end of that year
he was unanimously chosen bishop of that church; but opposed his
election, understanding how much more difficult and dangerous it is
to command than to obey. The obstacles which his humility and
apprehensions raised, being at length removed, he put on the monastic
habit, his most holy predecessors having been monks, because the
church of Utrecht had been founded by priests of the monastic order.
After he had received the episcopal consecration, he never tasted any
flesh-meat, often fasted two or three days together, and allowed
himself only the coarsest and most insipid fare. His charity to the
poor was excessive. By a persecution raised by obstinate sinners he
was obliged to leave Utrecht; and died happily at Daventer on the
29th of November, in 918. See his life written by one in the same
century, in Mabillon, sc. 5; Ben. et Annal. Ben. t. 3,1. 40, NAK 26;
Usuard Molanus, Mirus, Becka. &c.