Rev. Alban Butler (171173). Volume IX: September. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.
St. Remaclus, Bishop of Maestricht, Confessor
THIS holy pastor, who was a native of Aquitain, leaving the court of king Clotaire, passed some time in the study of the holy scriptures under St. Sulpitius of Bourges, and was appointed by St. Eligius first abbot of the monastery and seminary which he founded at Solignac, two leagues from Limoges, in the year 631. Our saint was afterwards obliged to take upon him the government of the abbey of Cougnon, in the duchy of Luxemburg; but was soon after called to the court of king Sigebert, who, in 645, had succeeded his father, Dagobert I. in Australia, leaving all the rest of France to his younger brother, Clovis II. Both these brothers were religious, and their reigns peaceable. Sigebert made use of the advice of St. Remaclus in founding the royal abbey of Stabuletum, now called Stavelo, in the Ardennes, in the bishopric of Maestricht and duchy of Limburg. The same prince founded the abbey of Malmandurium, now called Malmedi, also in the forest of Ardenne. The direction of both these foundations was committed to St. Remaclus, till upon the resignation of St. Armand, in 650, he was chosen bishop of Maestricht,1 in which charge he laboured with great humility and zeal in preaching to his flock, and relieving the poor. Sighing under the weight of exterior employs, and fearing he should, amidst them, forget himself, he procured the consent of his clergy and of king Childeric II. to resign his see to St. Theodard, and to retire to Stavelo, which design he carried into execution in 662. The reputation of his sanctity moved many noblemen and others to embrace a penitential monastic state under his direction in that house. Remaclus walked before them in the narrow paths of true Christian perfection, encouraging them, both by words and example, to fervour in all religious exercises. He remitted nothing in his austerities on account of his old age, but rather strove continually to redouble his pace as he drew nearer to the end of his course, lest, by sloth in the end, he should forfeit his crown. In his last moments he strongly exhorted his religious brethren to the love and practice of perfect self-denial, obedience, holy poverty, patience in painful employments and labours, assiduity in holy meditation and prayer, the most profound humility, and constant peace and union. He died about the year 664, and was buried at Stavelo. His body is still preserved there, and the church, when rebuilt by St. Poppo in 1040, was dedicated to God under the patronage of St. Remaclus. One arm was given to the abbey of Solignac, in 1268; and some small portions of his relics to the churches of Paterborn and Bamberg. See his life, compiled by a monk of Stavelo, about the year 850, extant in Mabillon. (Act. Bened. p. 494.) A second life, wrote in the following century by Heriger, abbot of Laubs; and The Triumph of St. Remaclus, in two books, compiled by Geoffrey, prior of Stevelo, in 1070, with an account of many miracles; also a MS. life of this saint, wrote by Thietmar, abbot of Gemblours, in 1100. See likewise Le Cointe, Annales Eccl. Franc. ad. ann, 662, Miræus, Fleury, l. 38, n. 58.