Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Lullus, or Lullon, Archbishop of Mentz, Confessor

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He was an Englishman, probably a native of the kingdom of the West-Saxons. The foundation of his education was laid in the monastery of Maldubi, probably the same which was afterwards called Malmesbury, in Wiltshire, founded a little before that time, in 675. From thence he went to Jarrow, and there finished his studies under venerable Bede. In 732 he passed into Germany, and was received with great joy by his cousin Saint Boniface, who gave him the monastic habit, and soon after ordained him deacon, and employed him in preaching the gospel to idolaters. From this time Lullus shared with that great saint the labours of his apostleship, and the persecutions which were raised against him by idolaters, heretics, and schismatics. Saint Boniface promoted him to priest’s orders in 751, and sent him to Rome to consult Pope Zachary on certain difficulties which he did not care to commit to writing. Upon his return Saint Boniface pitched upon him for his successor, and wrote to Fulrade, abbot of Saint Denys, entreating him to procure the consent of King Pepin. This being obtained, with the approbation of the bishops, abbots, clergy, and nobility of the country, Lullus was consecrated archbishop of Mentz. About two years after, Saint Boniface having suffered martyrdom, Lullus took care to have his body conveyed to the abbey of Fulde, and there interred with honour. During the space of thirty-four years that he governed the diocess of Mentz, he assisted at divers councils in France and at Rome.

It appears by the letters which were addressed to him from Rome, France, and England, to consult him upon the most difficult points of doctrine and of discipline, that he was in the greatest reputation for learning. His answers to these are lost, and only nine of his letters are published among those of Saint Boniface. The style shows that he neglected the ornaments of language, according to the custom of that age; but the matter is interesting. In the fourth, we admire his zeal to procure good books from foreign countries, by which means they were dispersed in all parts of Germany and France. In his other letters, we meet with great examples of his humility, his firm attachment to his friends, his pastoral vigilance, and his zeal for the observance of the canons. The sixty-second letter is an episcopal mandate to order prayers, fasts, and masses, “those which are prescribed (in the missal) to be said against tempests, to obtain of God that the rains might cease which prejudiced the fruits of the earth.” Saint Lullus announces in the same the death of the pope (Paul I or Stephen III), for whom he orders the accustomed prayers to be said. Cuthbert, abbot of Wiremouth, in a letter to Saint Lullus, mentions that he had ordered ninety masses to be said for their deceased brethren in Germany; for they sent to each other the names of those that died among them; which also appears from several letters of Saint Boniface, as from one to the abbot of Mount Cassino, and several to his brethren in England. Saint Lullus being imposed upon by false informations, took part against Saint Sturmius, abbot of Fulde, when he was accused of treason against the King Pepin. If holy and great men are sometimes surprised and betrayed into frailties, with what prudence and circumspection ought every one to proceed, lest he take some false step; and how ready ought he to be to confess his faults, and to efface them by salutary penance! Saint Lullus made afterwards amends for his mistake, as appears by his charter of donation to the abbey of Fulde, which he signed in 785, in presence of the Emperor Charlemagne. Saint Lullus resigned his dignity before his death, and shut himself up in the monastery of Harsfeld, which he had built. In that retreat he died happily on the 1st of November, not in 786, as some have pretended, but in 787.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Lullus, or Lullon, Archbishop of Mentz, Confessor”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 17 October 2013. Web. 25 September 2018. <>