mercredi 18 mars 2015

Saint ANSELME de MANTOUE (de LUCQUES), évêque et confesseur

Saint Anselme de Mantoue, évêque

Né en 1036 à Mantoue et neveu du pape Alexandre II, il est nommé évêque de Lucques en 1073. Il refuse d’abord de recevoir l’investiture des mains de l’empereur Henri IV mais finit par les accepter sur les conseils de Grégoire VII. Mais troublé par des problèmes de conscience, en butte à son chapitre qu’il veut réformer, il se retire dans un monastère bénédictin. Rappelé un temps par le pape, il se retire définitivement à Canossa auprès de la comtesse Mathilde. Il meurt en 1086.


Saint Anselme de Mantoue

Évêque ( 1086) Saint Anselme de Lucques

Évêque de Lucques (Toscane)

Fête le 18 mars

Baggio, Milan (Lombardie), v. 1036 – † Mantoue, Lombardie, 18 mars 1086

Autres graphies : [Anselmo II di Lucca] Anselme de Lucques « le Jeune », Anselmo di Baggio ou di Lucca ou di Mantova

Né à Mantoue, dont il est devenu le saint patron, il était le neveu du pape Alexandre II et fut appelé Anselme le Jeune par ses contemporains. Alexandre II le nomma évêque de Lucques en 1073, mais Anselme refusa d’accepter l’investiture de l’empereur Henri IV. Plus tard, suivant le conseil de Grégoire VII, il y consentit et prit possession de son siège, mais sa discipline et son antipathie pour l’autorité séculière en matière d’affaires ecclésiastiques l’obligèrent à se retirer de l’évêché de Lucques, en Toscane. Anselme alla à Canossa où il devint le conseiller spirituel de la comtesse Matilda. Il se retira à l’abbaye clunisienne de Polizone, où il fit profession. Grégoire VII le rappelant à Lucques, Anselme obéit. Il essaya de réformer les chanoines mais, devant leur révolte, il dut s’enfuir à nouveau. Homme très instruit et brillant canoniste, il soutint Grégoire VII. Peu avant sa mort à Mantoue, il devint encore légat du pape Victor III en Lombardie.

Originaire de Mantoue en Italie, il fut choisi comme évêque de Lucques par son oncle qui venait d'être élu pape sous le nom d'Alexandre II. Il eut tout de suite contre lui les chanoines dont il voulait améliorer le comportement. Peu après sa consécration épiscopale, il se retira dans un monastère bénédictin où il travailla, par la prière et ses efforts, à rétablir la paix troublée par l'empereur.

À Mantoue en Lombardie, l’an 1086, le trépas de saint Anselme, évêque de Lucques. D’une grande fidélité au siège de Rome dans la querelle des investitures, il remit entre les mains du pape Grégoire VII l’anneau et la crosse qu’il avait reçus à contre-cœur de l’empereur Henri IV. Expulsé de son siège par ses chanoines, qui refusaient de vivre en communauté, il fut envoyé par le pape comme légat en Lombardie et lui apporta une aide vigoureuse.

Martyrologe romain

St. Anselm of Lucca, the Younger

Born at Mantua c. 1036; d. in the same city, 18 March, 1086. He was nephew of Anselm of Lucca, the Elder, who ascended the Papal throne as Alexander II in 1061. In the year 1071 Alexander II designated Anselm as Bishop of Lucca and sent him to Germany to take investiture from Henry IV. Anselm went to Germany, but was loath to receive the insignia of spiritual power from a temporal ruler and returned without investiture. In 1073 Gregory VII, successor of Alexander II, also appointed Anselm Bishop of Lucca, but advised him not to accept his ring and crosier from Henry IV. For some reason, Anselm accepted investiture from Henry, but soon felt such remorse that he resigned his bishopric and entered the Order of St. Benedict at Padilirone, a monastery of the Cluniac Reform, situated near Mantua. Gregory VII ordered him to return to his episcopal see at Lucca. Anselm returned reluctantly, but continued to lead time life of a monk until his death. Inspired, like Gregory VII, with a holy zeal to reform the clergy, he wished to impose stricter discipline upon the canons of his cathedral. Most of the canons refused to submit to Anselms regulations, and in 1081 he was expelled from Lucca with the help of the Emperor and his antipope, Guibert. Anselm now retired to the castle of the Countess Matilda of Tuscany, whose spiritual adviser he was. Some time later he was made Papal Legate of Lombardy with instructions to rule over all the dioceses which, during the conflict between pope and emperor, had been left without bishops. Anselm was well versed in the Scriptures and wrote some exegetical and ascetical works. In his work "Contra Guibertum et sequaces ejus" he shows the unlawfulness of lay-investiture and defends Gregory against the Antipope Guibert. He also made a collection of canons which afterwards were incorporated into the well-known "Decretum" of Gratian. Mantua, the city of his birth and death, honours him as its patron.


RANBECK, A Benedictine Calender (London, 1896); MONTALEMBERT, Les moines doceident (Paris, 1882), VI, 473 sqq.; GUERIN, Les petits Bollandistes (Paris), III, 498; LECHNER, Martyrologium des Benediktiner-Ordens (Augsburg, 1855).

Ott, Michael. "St. Anselm of Lucca, the Younger." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 18 Mar. 2015 <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by W.S. French, Jr. Dedicated to the Rev. Anselm G. Biggs, O.S.B. (Belmont Abbey, Belmont, N.C., U.S.A.).

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

Anselm of Lucca, OSB B (RM)

Born in Mantua, Italy, 1036; died there in 1086. St. Anselm was named bishop of Lucca in 1073 by his uncle Pope Alexander II, who had just vacated the see. Anselm immediately became embroiled in a dispute about imperial investiture and refused to accept the symbols of his office from Emperor Henry IV. Later counselled by Gregory VII, Anselm accepted investiture, took possession of his see, but then had scruples and retired to the Cluniac monastery at Polirone, where he became a Benedictine monk.

Recalled by Pope Gregory VII, of whom Anselm was a faithful supporter, he soon became involved with his canons over their lack of observance of an austere life. When they were placed under an interdict by the pope and excommunicated, they revolted, were supported by the emperor, and, in 1079, drove Anselm from his see.

He retired to Canossa, became spiritual director of Countess Matilda and reformed the monks and canons in the territory she controlled. A man of great learning, Anselm excelled as a canonist and was a firm supporter of Pope Gregory's struggle to end lay investiture. After Gregory's death, Pope Victor III appointed him apostolic visitor to administer several dioceses in Lombardy, Italy, which were vacant because of the investiture struggle.

St. Anselm was held in high regard for his holiness, austerity, Biblical knowledge, and learning (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).


St. Anselm of Lucca

Bishop and nephew of Pope Alexander II, called Anselm the Younger by his contemporaries. He was born in Mantua, Italy, in 1036, and was named bishop of Lucca by his uncle. He accepted the symbols of office from Emperor Henry IV, repenting immediately because of the Church's stand against allowing secular rulers to perform such acts. Anselm resigned his office and became a Benedictine monk. Pope Gregory VII, Alexander II's successor, placed him back in Lucca, but a quarrel with the priests of that city forced him to leave. Anselm went to Canossa, Italy, where he became the spiritual advisor to Countess Matilda. He was also named a papal legate, with wide-ranging jurisdictions over the local religious institutions. Pope Victor III made him papal legate of all Lombardy, Italy. Anselm was well versed in Scripture and wrote some important treatises. He died in Mantua on March 18, 1086.

Saint Anselm of Lucca the Younger


Nephew of Pope Alexander II. Bishop of Lucca, Italy in 1073. Due to a dispute over imperial investiture, Anselm initially refused to accept the regalia of his office from Emperor Henry IV, but later gave in and accepted. He retired to lived as a Benedictine monk in a Cluniac monastery of Polirone in San Benedetto Po, Italy.

Recalled by Pope Gregory VII. Anselm’s canons were slack in observance of the austere life, were placed under papal interdict and excommunicated, revolted, were supported by the emperor, and drove Anselm from his see in 1079.

Anselm retired to Canossa, Italy, as spiritual director of Countess Matilda of Tuscany, and then reformed the monasteries in her lands. Supported Pope Gregory VII‘s efforts to end lay investiture. Apostolic legate to Lombardy under Pope Victor III, again settling problems caused by the lay investiture conflict. Worked against the anti-pope Guibert of Ravenna. His prayers obtained the rout of the enemies of Gregory VII.


  • man standing in front of an army that is in confusion

March 18

St. Anselm, Bishop of Lucca, Confessor

HE was a native of Mantua, and was educated there in grammar and dialectic. Having entered himself among the clergy, he spent some time in the study of theology and the canon law, and laid that foundation of learning, which, joined with his natural genius and eminent virtue, qualified him to rise to the highest degree of excellence. Anselm Badagius, a Milanese, bishop of Lucca, was chosen pope in 1061, and took the name of Alexander II. He nominated our saint his successor in the see of Lucca; and he took a journey into Germany to the emperor, Henry IV., but out of a scruple refused to receive the investiture of the bishopric from that prince, so that the pope was obliged to keep in his own hands the administration of the see of Lucca. St. Gregory VII., who succeeded Alexander II., in 1073, ordered Anselm to receive the investiture from Henry. This compliance gave our saint such remorse, that he left his see, and took the monastic habit at Cluni. The pope obliged him to return to his bishopric, which he did. His zeal soon raised him enemies: by virtue of a decree of Pope Gregory IX. he attempted to reform the canons of his cathedral, and to oblige them to live in community: this they obstinately refused to do, though they were interdicted by the pope, and afterwards excommunicated in a council, in which Peter Igneus, the famous bishop of Albano, presided in the name of his holiness. The holy countess Maud undertook to expel the refractory canons, but they raised a sedition, and, being supported by the emperor Henry, drove the bishop out of the city, in 1079. St. Anselm retired to the countess Maud, whose director he was; for he was eminently experienced in the paths of an interior life, and, in the greatest hurry of business, he always reserved several hours in the day, which he consecrated to prayer, and attended only to God and himself. Whilst he studied or conversed with others, his heart was virtually united to God, and every object served as it were naturally to raise his affections afresh to his Creator. Pope Gregory suffered him not to bury himself in his retreat, but, during his exile, appointed him apostolic legate in Lombardy, charging him with the care of several diocesses in those parts, which, through the iniquity of the times, had continued long vacant. St. Anselm wrote an apology for Gregory VII. in which he shows that it belongs not to temporal princes to give pastors to the church of Christ, and to confute the pretensions of the antipope, Guibert. 1 In another work he proves, that temporal princes cannot dispose of the revenues of the church. St. Anselm died at Mantua, on the 18th of March, in 1086. His name occurs on this day in the Roman Martyrology, and he is honoured at Mantua as patron of that city. Baldus, his penitentiary, has written his life, in which he ascribes to him several miracles. See it in Canisius’s Lect. Antiq. t. 3. p. 372.

Note 1. This work is published by Canisius, Lect. Antiq. t. 3. p. 389. and Bibl. Patr. Lugdun. t. 18. Colon. t. 10

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume III: March. The Lives of the Saints.  1866.