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Haymo

A Benedictine bishop of the ninth century; d. March 26, 853

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* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.


Haymo (or HAIMO), a Benedictine bishop of the ninth century; d. March 26, 853. The exact date and place of his birth are unknown. When a youth, he entered the Order of St. Benedict at Fulda, where the celebrated Rabanus Maurus was one of his fellow-students. He went together with him to the Monastery of St. Martin at Tours to profit by the lessons of its great teacher, Alcuin. After a brief sojourn at Tours, both friends came back to the Benedictine house at Fulda, and spent there most of their life previous to their promotion to the episcopal dignity. Haymo became chancellor to the monastery, as is proved by his records of its transactions, which are still extant. It is indeed probable that owing to his great learning he was also entrusted with the teaching of theology in the same monastery; yet there is no positive proof that such was actually the case. He had been living for only a short while in the Benedictine monastery at Hersfeld, perhaps as its abbot, when in the last weeks of 840 he was nominated to the Bishopric of Halberstadt. Hearing of Haymo's promotion, Rabanus Maurus, his old friend, save him at great length—in a work entitled "De Universe," and divided into 22 books—advice that would help him in the discharge of the episcopal office. And it is in compliance with Rabanus's suggestions, that Haymo stood aloof from the Court of King Louis the German, did not entangle himself in the affairs of the State, preached often, and lived solely for the welfare of his diocese. The only public assembly which he attended was the Council of Mainz, held in 847 for the maintenance of the ecclesiastical rights and immunities.

Although a certain number of works have been wrongly ascribed to Haymo of Halberstadt, there is no doubt that he was a prolific writer. Most of his genuine works are commentaries on Holy Writ, the following of which have been printed: "In Psalmos explanatio"; "In Isaiam libri tres"; "In XII Prophetas"; "In Epistolas Pauli omnes"; "In Apocalypsim libri septem". As might be naturally expected from the exegetical methods of his day, Haymo is not an original commentator; he simply repeats or abridges the Scriptural explanations which he finds in patristic writings. As a pious monk, and a faithful observer of Rabanus's recommendations, he sets forth almost exclusively the moral and mystical senses of the sacred text. He is also the author of a rather elegant "Epitome" of Eusebius's "Ecclesiastical History", of a large number of Sermons, and of a spiritual work, "De amore coelestis patriae". An extant passage from his writings, relating to the Holy Eucharist, shows that there is no substantial difference between his belief with regard to the Real Presence, and that of the other Catholic theologians. His works are contained in vols. cxvi-cxviii of Migne, Patr. Lat.

FRANCIS E. GIGOT


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