Theodulf (Theodolph) of Orleans, France (Circa 750-821)

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Roman Catholic
Hymn #90.
This writer was born about the year 750 of a noble Gothic family, probably in Spain. He found favor at the Frankish court and was made abbot of Fleury and Saint-Aignan. In 781 he became bishop of Orleans. He strongly supported Charlemagne’s principles of government and education. He established schools and by his own literary achievements was an honored member of the learned circle which had formed around the great King of the Franks. But we know from the Word of God that this is not the time for the Christian to seek a high place here nor seek to set the world right. John 17:1616They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. (John 17:16) tells us, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” Christ’s kingdom is not of this world, so we as His servants need not fight for a better world by ballots, bullets or boycotts (John 18:3636Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. (John 18:36)). In the days of Theodulf this was not recognized, nor do all the Lord’s people today accept this truth. He continued to help reform the clergy and monasteries and was awarded by Pope Leo III for his wise handling of a matter.
After the death of Charlemagne he was accused (it is considered falsely) of taking part in a conspiracy on behalf of Bernard of Italy, and in 818 was imprisoned at Angers (Anjou), France. No charge of guilt was ever proven against him. He died in prison in 821, presumably of poison. His hymn is the only evidence as to his faith in the Lord Jesus, and is the oldest in the book. It is also used as the chorus for #144. Some believe he composed it and first sang it while in prison.
“Glory, honor, praise, and power
Be unto the Lamb forever!
Jesus Christ is our Redeemer.
Praise we the Lord!”