Wazo bishop of Liege, was born probably in the eighth decade of the 10th century. His name was originally Walter or Warner. He came under the notice of bishop Notger, and was admitted into the seminary for the clergy at Liege, in time becoming its chaplain, canon of the cathedral, and magister scholarum. In 1017 he was made dean, and authorized to share in the administration of the secular property of the, chapter. In this position he displayed so much strictness towards inferiors and so much self- assertion towards superiors as to make many enemies. The bishop, Wolpodo, took active part against him by exciting the passions of the peasants and disturbing the peace of the school to such a degree as involved the life of Wazo in danger aid induced him to resign the leadership of the school. In A.D. 1030 the emperor Conrad chose Wazo to be one of his chaplains. Two years later he was made provost and archdeacon of Liege. In 1037 his influence secured the election of bishop to the youthful Nithard; but when the latter died, in 1041, Wazo was compelled by the unanimous voice to assume episcopal functions himself. In his new position he displayed independence: in administering the Church, and unequalled forces and skill in the conduct of civil affairs, such as were then under the control of the bishops of the Church. He refused to be the emperor's behest and pronounce sentence upon archbishop Wigger of Ravenna, who had been convicted of deviating from the customs of the Church in a certain matter, on the ground that Wigger was an Italian, and subject therefore to the pope rather than the emperor. He also braved the emperor's anger with the declaration that a pope could be judged of God only, and that therefore Henry III had no authority to fill the pontifical chair vacated by the Synod of Sutri in 1046. Wazo further angered the emperor by collecting forces and participating in the wars against the Lorraine rebels, who had threatened the peace and property of his diocese, and carried on a campaign of murder and pillage. The court held that Wazo had taken up arms from motives of personal aggrandizement and love of war; and when he refused to take advantage of the conduct of lady De Mons, who wished to deliver up her husband as guilty of high-treason, his loyalty came under suspicion. In the meantime Wazo wrote repeated letters to the king of France, dissuading him from prosecuting ant alleged claim upon the possession of Lorraine, for which attempt troops were already collected. Nothing, however, could regain for him the emperor's favor, and he was eventually brought to undergo a public humiliation, and pay a fine for an act of alleged disobedience. As bishop, Wazo was a zealous patron of schools; a liberal benefactor of the poor and needy; a tolerant critic of heretical opinions. He denied the power of bishops to pronounce sentence of death upon heretics. He was also deeply pious. It is stated, indeed, that he avoided in his clothing totius superstitionis typtus, i.e. wore no cilicium; but he nevertheless mortified the flesh. He died July 8, 1047. The material for a life of Wazo is furnished by Anselm, canon of Liege (died abouta 1056), in his Gesta Episc. Leodiensium, c. 39-73. See Pertz, Monum. Hist. Script. 7:210-233; Fisen, Sancta Legia, 1, 158 sq.; Stenzel, Gesch. Deutschlands u. d. fisank. Kaisern, vol. 1; Giescbrecht, Gesch. d. deutsch. Kaiserzeit, vol. 2. Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s.v.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.