Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Clou, or Clodulphus, Bishop of Metz, Confessor


He was son of Saint Arnold, who having been prime minister to King Clotaire II, surnamed the Great, renounced the world, and was afterwards made bishop of Metz. He had two sons, Clou and Ansegisus, whose inclinations to virtue he cultivated by an excellent education. Clou showed from the cradle that he inherited all his father’s virtues in an eminent degree. Under the best masters he made such a progress in the divine and human sciences, as astonished those who taught him, and excited to emulation all who learned with him. He afterwards lived in the court of the kings of Austrasia, and passed through the greatest employments under Dagobert I and Sigebert II always with credit to himself, and to the honour and advantage of the state. After some time he left his brother Ansegisus to push his fortune in the courts of earthly kings, choosing for himself a state which removes a man further from the flattering objects of the passions, and from that hurry of distractions, under which the most virtuous often find it difficult not to lose sight of God in their actions. His father, Saint Arnold, had quitted the bishopric of Metz, that he might wear out the remainder of his days in tranquillity, and be ready to meet his heavenly bridegroom. Two other pastors had succeeded him in that see, and it was become a third time vacant, when the clergy and people of Metz unanimously demanded Saint Clou for their bishop. The holy man did all that lay in his power to make the election fall on some other person; but the whole country became the more importunate, and the king obliged him at length to acquiesce in a choice made by heaven itself. Having therefore received the episcopal consecration, he cheerfully set himself to fulfil every duty of that important charge. He began by a visitation of his diocess, everywhere correcting abuses, and establishing regularity. Such was his compassion for the poor, that for their sake he lived himself destitute of the most common conveniences of life. By assiduous meditation at the foot of the cross, he was careful to nourish his own soul with the bread of life; and in the same school he acquired that heavenly eloquence with which he delivered, in the most affecting manner, the sentiments and lights which he received by this channel from the God of all science. Full of zeal for the glory of God, and of love and tenderness for his people, he was attentive to all their wants, and indefatigable in labouring for their sanctification, especially in instructing, comforting, and relieving the poor. He governed the church of Metz forty years and fifteen days, and died in 696, being fourscore and ten years old. He is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on this day. His body was translated to the Benedictin priory of Lay, not far from Nancy, in 959, on the 11th of December; but a portion remains in the church which bears his name at Metz. He is named in the Roman and other Martyrologies.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Clou, or Clodulphus, Bishop of Metz, Confessor”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 9 June 2013. Web. 23 September 2021. <>