Sunday, 9 July 2017

Saint Kilian

Statue of Saint Kilian (with Fortress Marienbergin the background)
The 8th of July is the feast day of Saint Kilian. He is the patron saint of sufferers of rheumatism.

Saint Kilian lived between 640 till 689 and is also known as Saint Cilian. He was born in Ireland to a noble family. His piety and love of study since childhood led him to the priesthood. He became a bishop and in 686 he left Ireland with eleven other people and travelled throughout Gaul which is present day France and parts of Germany, preaching the Gospel. He went to Rome to get official sanction from the Pope to become a missionary. He then returned north and settled in Wurzburg with two of his original companions. He became known as the Apostle of Franconia as he evangelised the pagans in Franconia and Thuringia which is north and central Germany. The Duke of Wurzburg was converted thanks to his efforts and he convinced the Duke to end his unlawful marriage. This, however, angered the Duke's wife who did not convert. While the Duke was away she had Saint Kilian and two of his companions beheaded as they were preaching. A cathedral now stands where the martyrdom took place. During his feast his relics and his companions are paraded through the streets and are put in display in the cathedral.

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