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Saint Fulbert of Chartres

Saint Fulbert was born sometime between 952 and 970 in Northern France into a peasant and poor family. He attended the cathedral school at Rheims in the 980s. He excelled here academically and was a classmate of the future King Robert II of France. After completing his education at the cathedral school he joined as a schoolmaster but had not taken any religious vows to become a monk. He was ordained a deacon in 1004 and was consecrated Bishop of Chartres, a vocation he continued until he died.

Saint Fulbert is well known for his writings, many of which have been kept together to the present day. These letters consisted of church issues ranging from the appointment of Bishops, excommunications, thanking for medicines and even requests to assistants to put together meetings. There are over 24 poems written by Saint Fulbert and many more hymns and sermons (including his sermon Approbate Consuetudinis, a sermon on the celebration of the Feast of Mary's Nativity).

Saint Fulbert greatly expanded devotion to Our Blessed Mother Mary during his lifetime and helped the faithful work through their fears of the upcoming millennium change. Saint Fulbert held a sacred relic of Mary - the so called Sanca Camisia or Holy Tunic - the tunic worn by Mary during the Annunciation and the birth of Christ. He used this relic and his own miracle (once while ill and seeming to be on his death bed, he was fully and miraculously healed with only a drop of milk - a miracle he fully attributed to the intercession of Mary. Believing in the importance of a feast to celebrate Mary's Nativity, he wrote the before mentioned Approbate Consuetudinis. In his sermon, he traced all the evidence of Mary's lineage to King David and the many miracles of Mary. Over the next few centuries in Europe, this sermon greatly enhanced support for the feast and his sermon and chants became part of the liturgical service on the Feast Day of Mary's Nativity (now celebrated on September 8th).

Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral burned in a terrible fire sometime in 1020 AD. Saint Fulbert directed laborers of the city to devote themselves fully to the rebuild the Cathedral. Thanks to his great work, the Cathedral was rebuilt in 1037 but Saint Fulbert would not be alive to see it's completion. Saint Fulbert died on April 10th, 1028 at Chartres. Though never officially canonized by the Catholic Church, The Vatican granted permission for his feast day to be celebrated on April 10th.

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