Benedict of Aniane, or Agnana
Benedict of Aniane, or Agnana a monastic reformer, was born in Languedoc in 750. In 774, being saved from drowning, he resolved to abandon the world, and retired into the monastery of St. Sequanas, near Dijon. His fastings, prayers, and mortifications were almost incredible; but he soon saw the folly of excess, and moderated his extravagance. In 780 he returned into Languedoc, and a little hermitage near, on the Aniane. Here a monastery was soon built, and the brotherhood became eminent for sanctity; a large cloister and magnificent church were built, where, before long, more than three hundred monks were, gathered together. All the monasteries of the region now regarded him as their father and superior, and he took advantage of this feeling toward him to introduce the needful reforms into the various houses, and thus became the celebrated renovator of religious discipline im France. He collected a large library, and encouraged his monks to multiply copies of the books; and many of the secular clergy, induced by the fame of the establishment, repaired to the monastery of St. Sauveur, on the Aniane, to learn the duties of their calling. He obtained great influence with Charlemagne, and used it to promote monkery. In 779 and 780 Charlemagne sent him, with Leidradus of Lyons and Nephridius of Narbonne, to Felix of Urgel; and he composed several treatises on the Adoptianist (q.v.) controversy (given by Baluze, Miscell, 5, 1-62). In 814 he became abbot of the monastery of Inda, built by Louis near Aix-la- Chapelle on purpose to have Benedict at hand. He used his clerical and political influence in behalf of monkery up to his death in 821. His principal writings are,
1. Codex Regularum, edited by Holstenius at Rome (1661; Paris, 1664, 4to): —
2. Concordia Regularum, ed. Menard (Paris, 1638): —
3. Modus diversarun paenitentiarum (ed. Baluze, at the end of the Capitula ria of Charlemagne). — Cave, Hist. Lit. anno 801; Mosheim, Ch. Hist. 2, 75; Landon, Eccl. Dict. 2, 155.