Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Bishop and ecclesiastical writer, born in Aquitaine; died in 843 or 844. From 818, when he succeeded Bishop Theodulf in the See of Orléans, until the time of his death he played an important role in the ecclesiastical affairs of France. He was present in 825 at the so-called Council of Paris, at which the question of the veneration of images was again discussed, and Jonas was one of the messengers sent by the emperor to submit to Pope Eugene II excerpts from the acts of the meeting. He also attended the Council of Paris in 829, which treated of reforms to be introduced in Church and State, and drew up the report of the proceedings of the Synod of Thionville (835) concerning the deposition of Ebbo of Reims. His good will toward monastic institutions was demonstrated by the restoration of the monastery of Saint-Mesmin in his diocese.

Jonas left the following writings: (1) "De Institutione laicali" (rules of Christian life for laymen ); (2) "De Institutione regiâ" (rules of Christian life for princes); (3) "De Cultu imaginum" (on the veneration of images ); (4) a recension of the "Vita" of St. Hubert . The first of these was destined for Matfrid, Count of Orléans, and is almost entirely made up of citations from the Scriptures and the Fathers. To the second work of Jonas, which bears no inscription in the manuscript, d'Achéry has appropriately prefixed the title "De Institutione regia." It was destined for Pepin, King of Aquitaine, son of Louis the Pious. A sort of supplement to the bishop's first work, it follows the same method and bears the same character. The fact that the acts of the Council of Paris (829) and the contents of these two treatises of Jonas are largely identical has raised the question of their priority. The view, at one time more commonly held (d'Achéry, Bähr, Knust, Himly, Duemmler), that the synodal acts borrowed from the "De Institutions regia" of Jonas, has been abandoned by several recent scholars who have reversed the relationship of dependence (Waitz, Simson, Ebert).

In spite of the difference of opinion in this regard, it is generally conceded that Jonas is the author of both the acts and the treatises. The work on the veneration of images was written at the request of Louis the Pious in refutation of the Iconoclastic views of Claudius, Bishop of Turin. Jonas wrote it without having read the writings of Claudius, which he knew only through an extract sent to him by Louis the Pious. He maintains that images are justified for purposes of commemoration, instruction, and ornament, but does not seem to admit the lawfulness of their veneration. The work first appeared in print at Cologne in 1554. We owe to Jonas also the recension of the "Vita S. Huberti" and a short history of the transfer of this saint's relics to the monastery of Andoin. The fact that Bishop Walcaud of Liège besought him to present this life of St. Hubert in a more elegant literary form is evidence of the reputation which Jonas enjoyed as a writer. For the works of Jonas see Migne, P.L., CVI, 121-394; the life of St. Hubert is found in Arndt, "Kleine Denkmaeler aus der Merovingerzeit" (Hannover, 1874).


More Encyclopedia

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 in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

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


Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 12:12-14, 27-31
12 For as with the human body which is a unity ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:1-2, 3, 4, 5
1 [Psalm For thanksgiving] Acclaim Yahweh, all the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 7:11-17
11 It happened that soon afterwards he went to a town ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 16th, 2014 Image

St. Cornelius
September 16: Cornelius whose feast day is September 16th. A Roman priest, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter