Venantius Fortunatus
(c. 540, Treviso, near Venice - c. 600, Poitiers, Aquitaine)

Encyclopædia Orbis Latini

 

Medieval ecclesiastic, whose religious poems and hymns reflects the classical Latin poetry.

In fulfillment of his vow to St. Martin of Tours, Fortunatus travelled across the European continent,  forming friendships with churchmen and officials. In 567 he reached Poitiers, where the former queen consort of Chlotar I, Radegunda, had founded a monastery. He was deeply impressed by her holiness and that of Agnes, the abbess, and decided to install himself in the city, becoming a priest. Subsequently Fortunatus was made bishop of Poitiers.

His extant works include:

Theare are six poems on the subject of the Cross, among which the splendid hymns Pange lingua ("Sing My Tongue the Glorious Battle") and Vexilla regis ("The Royal Banners Forward Go"), were translated into English by John Mason Neale.

Fortunatus is venerated as a saint in some Italian and French dioceses (feast day December 14).
 
 

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