Born in Mainz of a noble family, Rabanus (which means “raven” in Old High German) received the best education available in his day. A favorite pupil of Alcuin, he was called “Maurus” after a disciple of St. Benedict. Rabanus moved in the highest circles of power of the Carolingian world. He became abbot of Fulda in 822 and solicited the patronage of Lothair I to make this one of the outstanding monastic foundations of the age. Rabanus supported Louis the Pious in the political turmoil of the 830s and 840s, and Lothair I on Louis’s death. The victory of Louis the German in 840 forced him into exile for about a year; upon his return to German lands, he retired to the abbey of Petersburg until named archbishop of Mainz in 847.