St. Aaron of Aleth

Aaron of Aleth was a medieval scholar and bishop who lived in the 11th century. He is best known for his role in the Gregorian Reform movement, which sought to strengthen the power and independence of the Catholic Church.

Aaron was born in the town of Aleth, located in modern-day Saint-Malo, France. Little is known about his early life, but he was educated at the Abbey of Saint-Florent-le-Vieil in Anjou. There, he studied theology and became a monk.

In 1072, Aaron was appointed bishop of the diocese of Aleth, which included the city of Saint-Malo. As bishop, he was known for his piety, discipline, and zeal for reform. He worked to eradicate simony (the buying and selling of church offices) and to enforce clerical celibacy.

Aaron was also involved in the Investiture Controversy, a power struggle between the Catholic Church and secular rulers over the appointment of bishops and other church officials. He supported the position of Pope Gregory VII, who sought to assert the church’s independence from secular authority.

In 1076, Aaron attended a council in Paris where he spoke out against the practice of lay investiture, which allowed secular rulers to appoint church officials. He was one of the signatories of a letter to the pope affirming the independence of the church and condemning the practice of lay investiture.

Aaron died in 1085 and was buried in his cathedral in Aleth. He was later canonized by Pope Innocent III, who recognized him as a saint for his role in the Gregorian Reform movement. Today, he is remembered as a champion of the Catholic Church’s independence and a model of piety and discipline for future generations of bishops and monks.