St. Abbo of Fleury

St. Abbo of Fleury, also known as Abbon or Abbonius, was a French Benedictine monk and scholar who lived from c. 945 to 1004. He was born in Orléans, France, and entered the Benedictine monastery of Fleury-sur-Loire (now called Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire) at a young age.

Abbo was a brilliant student and became a teacher and scholar of theology, mathematics, and astronomy. He studied under the famous Gerbert of Aurillac, who later became Pope Sylvester II, and became known for his expertise in Greek and Arabic philosophy.

In 985, Abbo was elected abbot of Fleury, a position he held for ten years. During his tenure, he worked to restore the monastery, which had been destroyed by Viking raids, and to establish its reputation as a centre of learning.

Abbo is perhaps best known for his defence of the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist against the heretical teachings of Berengar of Tours. He wrote several works on the subject, including a treatise titled “De corpore et sanguine Domini,” which was widely read and influential in the medieval period.

Abbo was also a poet and hymn writer, and several of his works are still sung today. He composed a hymn in honour of St. Edmund, the patron saint of England, and another in honour of St. Mary Magdalene.

Abbo was a prolific author and wrote on a variety of subjects, including mathematics, astronomy, and history. His works include a chronicle of the world from the Creation to his own time, which is an important source for medieval history.

Abbo died in 1004 while on a mission to Rome. He was venerated as a saint after his death, and his feast day is celebrated on November 13. He is remembered as a great scholar and defender of the faith, as well as a dedicated and effective abbot.