Saint Ado, an archbishop and scholar, was born in Sens and received his education at the Benedictine abbey of Ferrieres. Under the tutelage of Abbot Lupus Servatus, a distinguished humanist, he developed a reputation for holiness that impressed many, including his mentor.

Born into nobility, St. Ado chose a life of religious devotion, renouncing his familial inheritance to join the Benedictines. His journey with the order eventually led him to the monastery of Prum near Trier, Germany. However, St. Ado’s commitment to his faith was not without challenges; his piety stirred animosity, compelling him to leave Prum.

Seeking solace and spiritual enrichment, St. Ado embarked on a pilgrimage to Rome, where he stayed for two years. His travels then took him to Ravenna. Here, he discovered an ancient version of the Roman Martyrology, which inspired him to write a revised edition, published in 858.

In Lyons, St. Ado found a welcoming figure in St. Remigius, the archbishop at the time. He initially served as a pastor in Lyons, but in 860, his path took a significant turn when Pope Nicholas I appointed him as the archbishop of Vienne. His tenure in Vienne was marked by a series of reforms aimed at revitalizing the clergy.

St. Ado’s life was also notable for his moral and ethical stances, particularly against the actions of Lothair II, the king of Lorraine. Lothair attempted to dismiss his lawful wife, Theutberga, in favor of his mistress, resorting to bribery for a divorce. St. Ado’s intervention was crucial; he traveled to Rome to expose the king’s plot to the pope, playing a pivotal role in thwarting Lothair’s plans.

St. Ado’s leadership in Vienne continued until his death in 875. His legacy, marked by dedication to the Church, reformist efforts, and moral fortitude, left an indelible mark on the history of the Christian faith.

Photo credit: via Wikimedia Commons

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