Benedict of Aniane

c.750-821. Monastic reformer. Born Witiza (Euticius), son of a Visigoth count in Languedoc, he distinguished himself in Charlemagne's wars. A narrow escape from drowning led him to enter the St.-Seine Monastery in Burgundy. He found the Benedictine monasteries in a parlous state. In 779 he established a monastery at Aniane, Languedoc, where he enforced the Benedictine Rule strictly, emphasizing manual labor rather than study, contrary to Charlemagne's wishes. He vigorously opposed the Adoptianism* of Felix of Urgel* (c.795). When Louis the Pious became emperor (814), he made Benedict his ecclesiastical adviser, calling him to found a monastery near Aix- la-Chapelle, the seat of the court. The Council of Aix-la- Chapelle (817), under Benedict's influence, enjoined a rigid uniformity on all monasteries. The reform was, however, short- lived.