An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Fortunatus, Venantius Honorius

(c. 535-c. 600). Latin poet born near Trevisco, Italy. Fortunatus received a classic education in rhetoric, grammar, and law at Ravenna. About 565 he went to Tours to give thanks at the tomb of St. Martin for healing from an eye disease. He settled in Poitiers, where he became acquainted with the former Queen Radegunde, a nun and widow of Clothar, King of the Franks, and Agnes, the abbess of her community. Fortunatus entered the service of the community, first as steward and later as chaplain after his ordination. Fortunatus was encouraged to publish his hymns by his friend, St. Gregory of Tours. Shortly before his death he became Bishop of Poitiers. He was a prolific writer. His true genius is found in his hymns, including “Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle” (Hymns 165-166), “Hail thee, festival day” (Hymns 175, 216, 225), and “'Welcome, happy morning!' age to age shall say” (Hymn 179).

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.