Ratherius (Rathier) of Liege

Ratherius (Rathier) Of Liege a monastic of mediaeval times, was born of a noble family, probably in 890. He was reared in the convent at Lobach, in the diocese of Liege, and was afterwards one of its monks. In 926, when his friend Hilduin, also a monk, went to Italy to visit his nephew, king Hugo, Ratherius accompanied him. Hilduin was made first bishop of Verona (931), and shortly after archbishop of Milan; and upon this promotion, his friend Ratherius was placed in the vacated see of Verona. In 934, when Arnold of Bavaria invaded Italy, Ratherius sided with the invader; and when Arnold was successfully disposed of, Ratherius was promptly deposed and imprisoned at Pavia. During his incarceration he wrote his Proeloquia (in six books). By the intercession of powerful friends he was put into the custody of the bishop of Arno, and thence escaped, in 939, to Southern France. He was private tutor for a time, and in 944 returned to Lobach. He was full of ambition, and pined for the opportunity to return to Italy. Finally, made bold by hope of regaining the king's favor inl open confession, he hastened to Hugo's presence, and really secured the forfeited place. But though restored to the see, he could not recover the favor of his parishioners; and, after various vicissitudes, he returned to the dwelling-place of his youth once more. In 952 Otho the Great called him into the vicinity of his brother Bruno; and when he was elevated to the archbishopric of Cologne, Ratherius was made bishop of Liege. He proved, however, very soon that the disappointments of life had told too greatly upon his whole character to fit him any longer for great responsibilities. He failed in all his undertakings, politically and ecclesiastically; and the discontent in the see was so great and widespread that the emperor felt compelled to dispossess him, and retire him to the little abbey of Alna, a dependence of Lobach. Even here he made himself extremely unpopular by his overzealous defence of the sacramental views ofPaschasius Radbertus. In 961, for the third time, the see of Verona was given to him, but the clergy of the diocese succeeded again in effecting his removal. He was once more after this a monk at Lobach and abbot at Alna. He died before he had secured the Abbey of Lobach, for which he strove finally as if an honor to be coveted. He died at the house of the count of Namur, April 25, 974. His writings, which are numerous and valuable, are collected in one edition by P. and H. Ballerini (Verona, 1765). See Vogel, Ratheius von Verona (Jena, 1854, 2 vols. 8vo); Lea, Hist. of Celibacy; Mosheim, Eccles. Hist. vol. 2, Gieseler,

Eccles. Hist.; Foulkes, Divisions of Christendom, 1, 7; Milman, Hist. Lat. Christianity, 3:171, 172. (J. H. W.)

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