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530 : FORTUNATUS

Venantius Honorius Clementianus Fortunatus was born in 530 in Venetia, Italy. During the early part of his life he travelled widely, studied in Ravenna, and then journeyed to Gaul through Germany. In 599 he was appointed bishop of Poitiers, where he died around 609. Fortunatus was known during his time as a master of Latin poetry and he penned many works on both sacred and secular themes. Two of his poems were included as sequences in the liturgy of the Roman Catholic church for Passiontide: Pange Lingua Gloriosi (‘Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle’) is associated with the Adoration of the Cross on Good Friday; and Vexilla Regis prodeunt (‘The Royal Banners Forward Go’) is sung during Holy Week. Both of these hymns appear in many hymnals currently in use, and are still sung in churches of many denominations during Passiontide.

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