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As a monk of Germany's Fulda monastery, Rabanus Maurus worked in the abbey's library. Seeking a thorough comprehension of the Scriptures, he studied Greek, Hebrew, Syriac, and the writings of the Church Fathers. Nonetheless, he never allowed his many hours of study to keep him from carrying out all the prescribed duties of his religious vocation. Rabanus became Fulda's abbot in 822, manifesting a great devotion to the saints and a profound fidelity to the authority of the papacy. So great was his abhorrence of heresy that he considered its proponents akin to the Antichrist. In 847 Rabanus was consecrated archbishop of Mainz. In this office he was indefatigable in preaching and in seeking the return of sinners to God. His great generosity to the poor was manifested during a famine in 850 when he fed three hundred paupers a day from his own table. By contrast, he was most austere in mortifying himself, never eating meat or drinking wine. As one of the greatest scholars of his time, Rabanus produced a vast corpus of writings on ecclesiastical subjects, including two liturgical commentaries.
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By Deacon Keith Fournier
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