Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Radbod, Bishop of Utrecht, Confessor

illustration of Saint Radbod of Utrecht, c.1600, swiped off the Wikipedia web siteArticle

This holy prelate was, by his father, of noble French extraction; and, by his mother, Radbod, the last king or prince of the Frisons was his great grandfather, whose name was given him by his mother. The first tincture of learning and piety he received under the tuition of Gunther, bishop of Cologn, his uncle by the mother: his education was completed in the courts of the emperors Charles the Bald, and his son Lewis the Stammerer, to which he repaired not to aspire after honours, but to perfect himself in the sciences, which were taught there by the ablest masters. The hymns and office of Saint Martin, an eclogue on Saint Lebwin, a hymn on Saint Swidbert, and some other pious poems which are extant, are monuments of his piety and application to polite literature, as it was then cultivated: but the sacred duties principally employed him. In a short chronicle which he compiled, he says upon the year 900; “I Radbod, a sinner, have been assumed, though unworthy, into the company of the ministers of the church of Utrecht; with whom I pray that I may attain to eternal life.” Before the end of that year he was unanimously chosen bishop of that church; but opposed his election, understanding how much more difficult and dangerous it is to command than to obey. The obstacles which his humility and apprehensions raised, being at length removed, he put on the monastic habit, his most holy predecessors having been monks, because the church of Utrecht had been founded by priests of the monastic Order. After he had received the episcopal consecration, he never tasted any flesh meat, often fasted two or three days together, and allowed himself only the coarsest and most insipid fare. His charity to the poor was excessive. By a persecution raised by obstinate sinners he was obliged to leave Utrecht; and died happily at Daventer, on the 29th of November in 918. See his life written by one in the same century in Mabillon.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Radbod, Bishop of Utrecht, Confessor”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 28 November 2013. Web. 19 November 2018. <>