RADBERTUS, PASCHASIUS, SAINT(C. 785/795–C. 860/865). A Benedictine monk and theologian of the Carolingian Empire, Paschasius Radbertus of Corbie was a prolific author of theological tracts, exegetical commentaries, saints’ lives, and homilies.
He was born sometime between 785 and 795 near Soissons. Initially he was raised by the nuns of the convent of St. Mary’s at Soissons. He took his vows and entered the monastery at Corbie sometime before 820. The details of his life between his childhood and his monastic vows are unknown. Radbertus never advanced beyond the rank of deacon.
At Corbie, he was presumably involved in the teaching of young monks and the study of letters both sacred and secular. His abbot was Adalard the Elder; Radbertus would write Vitae of Adalard and of Adalard’s brother Wala (also an abbot of Corbie) as a tribute to his esteemed mentors. These texts contain valuable historical information about the life of Radbertus and his contemporaries, as well as the politics and controversies of his day. In 822, Radbertus assisted in the founding of the abbey at New Corvey. He also attended the Synod of Paris in 847 and the Synod of Quiercy in 849. He was proclaimed the abbot of Corbie itself, c. 843–844. At some point between 849 and 852, he relinquished his seat due to internal disputes and retired to St. Riquier. He did, however, return to Corbie before he died c. 860–865.
Radbertus was a prolific author. His extant works include treatises on the Virgin Mary: De partu Virginis (a defense and explanation of the virginity of Mary in two books) and a tract on the life of Mary (De nativitate sanctae Mariae); and it is also accepted now that he wrote “Cogitis me,” on the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (formerly known as “Epistle IX” of Pseudo-Jerome). He also wrote a treatise on faith, hope, and charity (De fide, spe, et caritate). Radbertus composed saints’ lives: the Vita sancti Adalhardi (Life of St. Adalard) and the Vita Walae (Life of Wala), also known as the