Home  »  Volume XII: December  »  St. Anno, Archbishop of Cologne, Confessor

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume XII: December. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

December 4

St. Anno, Archbishop of Cologne, Confessor

ANNO, a young nobleman, served in the army, but was very young when, by the exhortations of an uncle, a pious canon of Bamberg, he renounced all earthly pursuits, and dedicated himself to God in an ecclesiastical state at Bamberg. His improvement in virtue and learning was much spoken of at court, and the emperor, Henry III. or The Black, called him near his person: and some time after nominated him provost of Goslar in Lower Saxony, and, in 1056, archbishop of Cologne. The tears he abundantly shed during the whole ceremony of his consecration were a proof of his sincere humility and devotion. The foot of the altar was his soul’s delight, comfort, and refuge. The poor he sought out in their cottages, and carried them, sometimes on his own shoulders, blankets, and other necessaries. He fasted much, watched the greater part of the night, subdued his body with hair shirts, and preached to his flock with the assiduity and zeal of a St. Paul. He reformed all the monasteries of his diocess, and built two regular canons at Cologne, and three of Benedictins in other parts. After the death of Henry III., Anno was chosen by the Empress Agnes and the states, regent and prime minister during the minority of Henry IV. Flatterers and debauched companions poisoned the mind of the young prince, who, growing impatient at his remonstrances, at length removed him from the helm; but the extortions and injustices of those whom he employed, raised so loud a cry for recalling Anno, that, in 1072, the administration of affairs was again committed to him. He died on the 4th of December, in 1075. His name occurs in the Roman Martyrology. See his life written by Lambert, author of the Chronicle of Aschaffenburg; Fleury, b. 60 and Surius.  1