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Orthodox Christian Missions

St. Wigbert, Missionary to Germany

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St. WigbertCommemorated August 13

He was an Englishman of noble birth, who, despising the world in his youth, embraced a monastic state. St. Boniface invited him to join in the labours of the conversion of the Germans, and made him abbot of two monasteries which he built, that of Fritzlar, three miles from Cassel, and afterwards also of Ortdorf in the same province of Hesse. When called out to hear any one’s confession he spoke to no one in his road and made haste back to his monastery. Broken by sickness he resigned the government of his monasteries to St. Boniface, the better to prepare himself for his last passage. No state of his last sickness could make him mitigate the severity of his monastic abstinence and fasts, though he condemned not such indulgence in others. He died about the year 747, before St. Boniface, and was famous for miracles. His body was soon after translated to the monastery of Herfeld, and his body there adorned by St. Lullus with gold and silver.

Source: Alban Butler’s Lives of Saints. Wikipedia also has the following, found here, though sources are not listed.

Saint Wigbert, born in Wessex around 670, was an Anglo-Saxon Benedictine monk from the monastery of Glastonbury and a missionary and disciple of Saint Boniface who traveled with the latter in Frisia and northern and central Germany to convert the local tribes to Christianity. When Boniface had felled Thor’s Oak near Fritzlar in northern Hesse in 723, he built a wooden chapel from the oak’s wood and in 724 established a Benedictine monastery in Fritzlar. Wigbert became the first abbot and led the monastery to eminence as a center of ecclesiastic and worldly learning. From about 737 he was simultaneously abbot of Ohrdruf where he established a school for missionaries operating in Thuringia. In both monasteries he was the teacher of Lullus and Sturmius, two eminent missionaries and future abbots and bishops. Wigbert died in 747, was canonized, and was initially buried in Fritzlar in the stone basilica he had built to replace the original wooden chapel. Lullus later had most of his body (except for a few sacred relics which remained in Fritzlar) interred in Hersfeld Abbey, where he is patron saint of the town of Bad Hersfeld.

Icon from the website of All-Merciful Savior Orthodox Mission.


Written by Stephen

August 15, 2009 at 4:08 pm

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