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ARNULF, Bishop of Metz, and Doda of Herstal
ARNULF, (Arnold, Arnulphus, St. Arnulf of Herstal) Bishop of Metz. Mayor (maior domus) of the Palace of the Franks.
Born 13 August 582 at Herstal, Austrasia, son of a “prominent Frankish family.” According to Frankish myth, Arnulf was the son of BODIGISEL, a supposed son of Saint Gendolphus, Bishop of Tongress, and Oda de Savoy. This bishop was an actual historical figure, the son of Arthemia and Munderic of Vitry. According again to the myths, Munderic was the son of Cloderic the Paricide, son of the historic Sigisbert the Lame. This Sigisbert was the son of King Childebert of Cologne, another historical figure that died sometime shortly after 450. He was the supposed son of one Clovis the Riparian who died after 420.
In the school in which he was placed during his boyhood he excelled through his talent and his good behaviour. According to the custom of the age, he was sent in due time to the court of Theodebert II, King of Austrasia (595-612), to be initiated in the various branches of the government. Under the guidance of Gundulf, the Mayor of the Palace, he soon became so proficient that he was placed on the regular list of royal officers, and among the first of the kings ministers. He distinguished himself both as a military commander and in the civil administration; at one time he had under his care six distinct provinces.
In due course Arnulf was married to a Frankish woman of noble lineage, Doda of Herstal [Dobo, Oede, Oda], by whom he had two sons, Anseghisel and Clodulf.
While Arnulf was enjoying worldly emoluments and honours he did not forget higher and spiritual things. His thoughts dwelled often on monasteries, and with his friend Romaricus, likewise an officer of the court, he planned to make a pilgrimage to the Abbey of Lérins, evidently for the purpose of devoting his life to God. But in the meantime the Episcopal See of Metz became vacant. Arnulf was universally designated as a worthy candidate for the office, and he was consecrated bishop of that see about 611. In his new position he set the example of a virtuous life to his subjects, and attended to matters of ecclesiastical government. In 625 he took part in a council held by the Frankish bishops at Reims. With all this Arnulf retained his station at the court of the king, and took a prominent part in the national life of his people. In 613, after the death of Theodebert, he, with Pepin of Landen and other nobles, called to Austrasia Clothaire II, King of Neustria. When, in 625, the realm of Austrasia was entrusted to the kings son Dagobert, Arnulf became not only the tutor, but also the chief minister, of the young king. At the time of the estrangement between the two kings, and 625, Arnulf with other bishops and nobles tried to effect a reconciliation. But Arnulf dreaded the responsibilities of the episcopal office and grew weary of court life. About the year 626 (or 627) he obtained the appointment of a successor to the Episcopal See of Metz; he himself and his friend Romaricus withdrew to a solitary place in the mountains of the Vosges, the monastery of Remiremond, and became a monk. There he lived in communion with God until his death. He was replaced by Cunibert, bishop of Cologne.
He died 18 July 640, and was buried at Remiremond by Romaricus.
In 641[probably the 16 AUG 641 date that is sometimes stated as his death date], the citizens of Metz requested that Saint Arnold's body be exhumed and carried from the monastery to the town of Metz for reburial in their local church, the church where Arnold had so frequently preached the virtues of beer, the basilica of the Holy Apostles in Metz. Their request was granted, by Bishop Goeric. It was a long and thirsty journey, especially since they were carrying a dead bishop. As the ceremonial procession passed through the town of Champignuelles, the tired processionals stopped for a rest and went into a tavern for a drink of their favorite beverage - Beer. Much to their dismay, they were informed that there was only one mug of beer left, and that they would have to share it. That mug never ran dry and the thirsty crowd was satisfied. The story of the miracle mug of beer spread and eventually Arnold was canonized by the Catholic Church for it. Saint Arnold is recognized by the Catholic Church as the Patron Saint of Brewers. (S5).
Doda of Herstal [Dobo, Oede, Oda], nun [in Trier?] 612-,
Of Saxon descent, born 586 in Old-Saxony; daughter of ARNOALD of Schelde(Arnoaldus), Marquess of Schelde, Bishop of Metz, and Dua, princess of Zwaben.
She died in 611.
CHILDREN of ARNULF, Bishop of Metz and DODA of Herstal:
- Chlodulf. Bishop of Metz. Born 596. He became his father’s Clodulf became his third successor in the See of Metz. He died 690 at Metz, Austrasia; and was buried at Metz, Austrasia.
- ANSEGISEL. (Anchises, Anseghisel). He married Begga, a daughter of Pepin of Landen.
- He is sometimes said to have a third son. Some say Walchigise and others Martin.
- [S1]. Karl Der Grosse. Dr. Heinrich Luebke. Aachen. 1965.
- [S2]. The Lives of the Kings & Queens of France. Translated by Anne Dobell. 1979. Alfed A. Knopf:New York.
- [S3]. http://www.mythopedia.info/ancestry-charlemagne.htm
- [S4]. http://members.tripod.com/~FOSBERY/d0002/g0000080.html
- [S5]. http://www.beerchurch.com/saint_arnold.htm
- [S6]. http://nygaard.50g.com/files/1709.htm
- [S7]. Arnulf of Metz. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnulf_of_Metz.
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