Ado of Vienne

Ado of Vienne (Latin: Ado Viennensis, French: Adon de Vienne; died 16 December 874) was archbishop of Vienne in Lotharingia from 850 until his death and is venerated as a saint.[1][2] He belonged to a prominent Frankish family and spent much of his early adulthood in Italy. Several of his letters are extant and reveal their writer as an energetic man of wide sympathies and considerable influence. Ado's principal works are a martyrology,[3] and a chronicle, Chronicon sive Breviarium chronicorum de sex mundi aetatibus de Adamo usque ad annum 869.[4][5][6]

Early lifeEdit

Born into a noble family, he was sent as a child for his education, first to Sigulfe, abbot of Ferrières, and then to Marcward, abbot of Prüm near Trier. After the death of Marcward in 853, Ado went to Rome where he stayed for nearly five years, and then to Ravenna, after which Remy, archbishop of Lyon, gave him the parish of Saint-Romain near Vienne. The following year he was elected archbishop of Vienne and dedicated in August or September 860, despite opposition from Girart de Roussillon, Count of Paris, and his wife Berthe.[7]

Episcopal careerEdit

Ado participated in the Council of Tousy, near Toul in Lorraine, on 22 October 860, and held a council at Vienne in 870. After his death on 16 December 876, his body was buried in the Church of the Apostles in Vienne, now called St. Peter's Church, the usual place of burial of the archbishops of Vienne. His feast day is celebrated on 16 December.


Ado's chronicle is based on that of Bede, with which he combines extracts from the ordinary sources, forming the whole into a consecutive narrative founded on the conception of the unity of the Roman Empire, which he traces in the succession of the emperors, Charlemagne and his heirs following immediately after Constantine VI and Irene. "It is," says Wilhelm Wattenbach, "history from the point of view of authority and preconceived opinion, which exclude any independent judgment of events."[6]

Ado wrote also a book on the miracles (Miracula) of Saint Bernard, archbishop of Vienne (9th century), published in the Bollandist Acta Sanctorum; a life or martyrium of Saint Desiderius, bishop of Vienne (d. 608);[8] and a life of Saint Theuderius of Vienne, otherwise known as Theudericus of the Dauphinê, abbot of Saint-Chef near Vienne (563).[6][9]


The Royal Library of Copenhagen preserves an unedited martyrology which dates back to the 11th century and comes from the Abbey of Santa Maria, Serrateix, with information on Ado of Vienne, the Rule of Saint Benedict and other abbots and monks of that time.[10]


  1. ^ Charles Louis Richard: Bibliothèque sacrée (Boiste fils ainé, 1822).
  2. ^ René François Rohrbacher, Auguste-Henri Dufour: Histoire universelle de l'Église Catholique, Volume 12 (Gaume Frères, 1857)
  3. ^ printed inter al. in Migne, Patrologia latina, cxxiii, pp. 181-420; append, pp. 419-436
  4. ^ In Migne, cxxiii, pp. 20-138, and Pertz, Monumenta Germaniae Historica ii, pp. 315-323 (excerpts).
  5. ^ Adonis, Chronique universelle (Rome, 1745, in-fol.
  6. ^ a b c   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Ado". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 210. Endnotes:
    • Wattenbach, W. Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen, Vol. I. (Stuttgart and Berlin, 1904).
  7. ^ Thomas Mermet: Histoire de la ville de Vienne ([archive] Firmin Didot, 1833)
  8. ^ Written about 870 and published in Migne, cxxiii, pp. 435-442.
  9. ^ Published in Mabillon, Acta Sanct. i, pp. 678-681, Migne, cxxiii, pp. 443-450, and revised in the Bollandist Acta Sanctorum, 29 October, xii, pp. 840-843.
  10. ^ M. Masnou, Josep (2013). "Els Necrologis de Sarrateix" (pdf). Miscellània Litúrgica Catalana (in Spanish). Barcellona: Catalunian society of Liturgical Studies. 21: 115–50. ISSN 2013-4010. OCLC 945640521. Archived from the original on 30 May 2021. Retrieved 30 May 2021.

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