Theoduilus (or Theodorus)

Theoduilus (or Theodorus)

the name of three bishops who at different times presided over the see of Valais in Switzerland.

1. THEODORUTS was the first bishop of the Church of Valais. He was present at the Synod of Aquileia in 381, which condemned the Arian bishops Palladius and Secundianus, as directed by the command of the emperor Gratian; and his zeal for orthodoxy was such that he refused to recognize Palladius as a Christian and priest. He was especially meritorious in enhancing the welfare and glory of his own Church, where he is said to have established orthodoxy on an assured basis, and to have discovered the relics of the Thebaic martyrs, in whose honor he subsequently built a church near where the Church of St. Maurice now stands. The influx of pilgrims to this church caused him to devise an appropriate cult, and thereby to give occasion for the organization of a monastery. Theodorus also forwarded relics to Vitricius of Rouen and Martin of Tours, for which thanks are rendered by the former in his De Laudibus Sanctorum; and he furnished Isaac, bishop of Geneva, with information respecting the discovery of the famous relics which became the basis of the legend written by Eucherius. Theodorus I thus appears to have been the actual apostle of the country, as he was its first consecrated bishop, and also the founder of the Church of Valais and of the cult which became its boast. His name appears in the oldest liturgical manuscripts of the country, the very ancient Missale Aledenum, an ancient Martyrology preserved in tie Castle of Valeria in Sion, and in the Martyrol. Gallic. . His name occurs also among those of the ten bishops who wrote to pope Siricius from Milan in 390.. After this he disappears, and is accordingly supposed to have died about 391. See the ancient Acta Conc.; S. Eucheri Passio Agaunesium Martyr.; ancient martyrologies; Vita Theodul. Episc. in the Bollandists, ad Aug. 16, 3, 278-280. —Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s.v.

2. THEODULUS or THEODORUS II, bishop of Valais, is mentioned in the spurious articles of endowment by king Sigismund to the Convent of St. Maurice, and was evidently confounded by the author of that document with Theodorus I, as he is made to urge the erection of a new convent and an appropriate endowment, on the ground that the bones of the Thebaic martyrs were yet unburied; all this so late as A.D. 515. Despite the doubts raised by this anachronism, he must be supposed to have existed, as his name occurs in the ancient and trustworthy list of Agaunensian bishops, and in all subsequent lists as well. He is also mentioned by an anonymous contemporary, in the life of abbot Ambrose of St. Maurice, as having raised collections in behalf of the new church edifice, and as having assisted in the collection of relics for its endowment. A new bishop, Constantius, appears in the Synod of Epaon in A.D. 517; the death of Theodorus was accordingly prior to that date. See Bolland, ad Aug. 27.

3. THEODORUS III, preferably called THEODULUS, the most famous, but also the most imperfectly authenticated, bishop of Valais of this name, is reputed to have lived in the time of Charlemagne. The only source for the assumption that he lived is the legend of St. Theodulus, by Ruodpert, which runs as follows: Theodulus, of the noble family of Grammont, in Burgundy, was invited by Charlemagne to a general council which was to devise means for restoring his peace of mind. All the bishops responded to the monarch's tears with the promise of twenty, and even more, prayers and sacrifices, but Theodulus promised only a single one. His prayer was continued day and night and followed with the mass, so that God sent an angel who revealed to Theodulus the emperor's crime, and assured him that it was forgiven. Thus attested, the emperor could not doubt the bishop's assurance, and rewarded the latter with the praefecture of his country, that he might be able to control the rude inhabitants, while exempting the clergy from the civil authorities. A later addendum to this legend relates that Theodululs had revealed to him by an angel that the pope intended to spend a night in the embraces of a concubine. While thinking upon this revelation, the devil drew near in female form. Theodulus seized him, leaped on his shoulders, and compelled him to serve as a medium of transportation to Rome, where he was able to prevent the papal sin. The Bollandists add to the above a miracle, through which Theodulus filled all obtainable vessels with the juice of a single grape which he had blessed at a time when the vintage had failed. This miracle elevated him to the rank of patron saint of the country, in which character he is still commemorated with great rejoicings on Aug. 16. No martyrologies or similar documents mention this Theodulus. Rudpert is clearly a mythical personage. The bishop under consideration is imaginary, and probably developed out of the fact that donations to the Church of Valais were made in honorem S. Marice or S. Theodori (Theoduli), and the other fact that Charlemagne had a court bishop named Theodore, who dedicated the Church of Zurich. See Gelpke, Kirchengesch. d. Schweiz, 1, 91 sq., 120 sq.; 2, 95 sq.; Briguet, Vallesia Christiana (1744), p. 48 sq., 95 sq.; Rivaz. De la Legion Thebenne (1779), p. 37, etc.; Comment. Previous Gulielmi Cuperi, etc. —Herzog, Real Encyklop. s.v.

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