The son of the Goth, Aigulf, Count of Maguelone in Languedoc, France, Witiza was educated at the Frankish court of Pepin, and entered the royal service. After taking part in the Italian campaign of Charlemagne in 773 where he almost drowned in the Tesin near Pavia while trying to save his brother, Benedict decided to become a preist. He was received into the monastery of St. Sequanus (Saint-Seine). Around 780, he founded a monastic community based on Eastern asceticism at Aniane in Languedoc. In 799, he founded a large monastery based on Benedictine Rule, near the little river of Aniane. His feast day is February 11. Emperor Louis the Pious built the abbey of Maurmunster as a model abbey for Benedict in Alsace and then Cornelimunster near Aachen, and made Benedict director of all the monasteries in the empire. Benedict participated in the synods in Aachen and compiled the Codex regularum, a collection of all monastic regulations. In addition, he compiled the Concordia regularum.
For Benedict's writings, see Codex regularum monasticarum et canonicarum in P.L., CIII, 393-702; Concordia regularum, loc. cit; Letters, loc. cit., 703-1380. Other treatises (loc. cit., 1381 sqq.) ascribed to him are probably not authentic. ARDO SMARAGDUS, Life, op. cit., CIII, 353 sqq.; Mon. Germ. Hist.: Script., XV, I, 200-220; Acta SS., Feb., II, 606 sqq.; NICOLAI, Der hl. Benedict, Gründer von Aniane und Cornelimünster (Cologne, 1865); PAULINIER, S. Benoit d'Aniane et la fondation du monastere de ce nom (Montpellier, 1871); FOSS, Benedikt von Aniane (Berlin, 1884); PUCKERT, Aniane und Gellone (Leipzig, 1899); HAUCK, Kirchengesch. Deutschlands (2nd ed., Leipzig, 1900), II, 575 sqq.; BUTLER, Lives of the Saints, 12 Feb.