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(SERVATUS LUPUS, LOUP)

Abbot of Ferrières, French Benedictine writer, b. in the Diocese of Sens, about 805; d. about 862. He assumed the surname of Servatus in commemoration of his miraculous escape from danger either in a serious illness or on the battlefield. He began his education at Ferrières under Aldric and completed it at Fulda under Rabanus Maurus. During his residence at Fulda (c. 830-36) he became an intimate friend and disciple of the learned Einhard. Even before he returned to his native land he had become favourably known at court and was especially esteemed by the Empress Judith, the second wife of Louis the Pious. To her and her son Charles the Bald, whose political interests he always defended, he owed his nomination as Abbot of Ferrières (22 November, 840). Subsequently he took a prominent part in contemporary political and ecclesiastical events, even assuming active command on the battlefield several times. During the war between Charles the Bald and Pepin of Aquitaine he was captured and held prisoner for a short time (844). The same year he was sent to Burgundy to carry out the monastic reforms decreed by the Synod of Germigny (843), and attended the Council of Verneuil on the Oise, the Acts of which have been written by him. He was also present at several other councils, notably that of Soissons in 853, and played an important part in the contemporary controversy regarding predestination. He believed in a twofold predestination, not indeed in the sense that God predestined some men to damnation, but that he foreknew the sins of men and foreordained consequent punishment. The closing years of the life of Lupus were saddened by the threatened devastation of his monastery by the invading Normans. He occupies a prominent place in medieval literary history, being one of the most cultured and refined men of the ninth century. His letters, of which we possess 132, are distinguished for literary elegance and valuable historical information. As a hagiographer he has left us a "Life of St. Maximin", Bishop of Trier (d. 349) and a "Life of St. Wigbert ", Abbot of Fritzlar in Hesse (d. 747). In the controversy on predestination he wrote his "De tribus quaestionibus", a work which treated of the threefold question of free will, predestination, and the universality of redemption. To illustrate the teaching of the Church on these topics he brought together pertinent passages from the Fathers in his "Collectaneum de tribus quaestionibus."


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