Abbot of Stavelot ( Stablo ), Malmedy, and Corvey, b. near Stavelot in Belgium in 1098; d. at Bitolia in Paphlagonia, 19 July, 1158, while returning from an imperial embassy to Constantinople. He studied at the monastic schools at Stavelot and Liège, and entered the Benedictine monastery at Waulsort near Namur in 1117. After presiding for some time over the monastic school at Waulsort he went to the monastery at Stavelot and in 1130 was elected Abbot of Stavelot and malmedy. On 22 October 1146, he was also elected Abbot of Corvey and four months later the convents at Fischbeck and Kemnade were annexed to Corvey by the emperor. During the abbacy of Wibald the monastery of Stavelot reached the period of its greatest fame, and at Corvey the monastic discipline which had been on the decline was again restored. Wibald was one of the most influential councillors of the emperors Lothaire and Conrad III. Combining true patriotism with a submissive devotion to the Holy See, he used his great influence to preserve harmony between the emperors and the popes. In 1137 he accompanied Lothaire on a military expedition to Italy and through the emperor's influence was elected Abbot of Monte Cassino. When, however, King Roger of Sicily threatened to destroy the monastery unless Wibald resigned the abbacy, he returned to Stavelot, having been Abbot of Monte Cassino only forty days. During the reign of Conrad III (1138-52) Wibald became still more influential. All the emperor's negotiations with the Apostolic See were carried on by Wibald, and he visited Rome on eight different occasions on imperial embassies. The emperor would enter upon no political undertaking without consulting the abbot. In 1147 he took part in the unsuccessful expedition against the Wends. During the absence of Conrad III in Palestine (1147-49) he was tutor of the emperor's young son Henry, but seems to have had little to do with the political affairs of Germany during that period. Conrad's successor, Frederick Barbarossa, also esteemed him highly and was sent by him on a mission to Constantinople in 1154 and again in 1157. His sudden death on his second journey back from Constantinople gave rise to the suspicion that he was poisoned by the Greeks. More than 400 of Wibald's epistles are still extant. They begin with the year 1146 and have become the chief source for the history of Conrad III and the early reign of Barbarossa. The best edition was prepared by Jaffé, "Monumenta Corbeiensia" in "Bibliotheca rerum Germ.", I (Berlin, 1864), 76-602. They are also printed in P.L., CLXXXIX, 1121-1458.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online