St. Odo of Cluny
Born to the nobility, the son of Abbo. Raised in the courts of Count Fulk II of Anjou and Duke William of Aquitaine. Received the Order of Tonsure at age nineteen. Canon of the church of Saint Martin of Tours. Studied music and theology in Paris for four years, studying under Remigius of Auxerre. Returning home, he spent years as a near-hermit in a cell, studying and praying.
Benedictine monk at Baume, diocese of Besancon, France in 909, bringing all his worldly possessions – a library of about 100 books. Spiritual student of the abbot, Saint Berno of Cluny. Headmaster of the monastery school at Baume. Abbot of Baume in 924. Abbot of Cluny, Massey and Deols in 927.
In 931, Pope John XI asked Odo to reform all the monasteries in the Aquitaine, northern France and Italy. Negotiated a peace between Heberic of Rome and Hugh of Provence in 936; returned twice in six years to renegotiate the peace between them. Persuaded many secular leaders to give up control of monasteries so they could return to being spiritual centers, not sources of cash for the state. Founded the monastery of Our Lady on the Aventine in Rome. Wrote a biography of Saint Gerald of Aurillac, three books of essays on morality, some homilies, an epic poem on the Redemption, and twelve choral antiphons in honour of Saint Martin of Tours. Noted for his knowledge, his administrative abilities, his skills as a reformer, and as a writer; also known for his charity, he has been depicted giving the poor the clothes off his back.