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Saint Gall

From Academic Kids

Alternate uses: see St. Gallen for the city and Canton of St. Gallen.

Saint Gall or Gallus (c. 550 - c. 646) was an Irish disciple and one of the traditionally twelve companions of Saint Columbanus on his mission from Ireland to the continent and established themselves with him at first at Luxeuil in Gaul. In 610, he accompanied Columbanus on his voyage up the Rhine to Bregenz but when in 612 Columbanus traveled on to Italy from Bregenz, Gall had to remain behind due to illness and was nursed at Arbon. He remained in Swabia, where, with several companions, he led the life of a hermit to the west of Bregenz, near the source of the river Steinach in cells.

He died around 646-650 in Arbon, and his feast celebrated on 16 October.

After his death a small church was erected which developed into the Abbey of St. Gall, the nucleus of the Canton of St. Gallen in eastern Switzerland the first abbot of which was Saint Otmar. The monastery was freed from its dependence of the bishop of Constance, Switzerland and Emperor Louis the Pious made it an imperial institution. The "Abbey of St. Gall", (not from the name of its founder and first abbot, but of the saint who had lived in this place and whose relics were honoured there) the monastery and especially its celebrated scriptorium played an illustrious part in Catholic and intellectual history until it was secularized in 1798,

From as early as the 9th century a series of fantastically embroidered "Lives" of Saint Gall were circulated. Gall delivered Fridiburga from the demon by which she was possessed; she was the betrothed of Sigebert II, King of the Franks, who granted to the saint an estate near Arbon, which belonged to the royal treasury, that he might found a monastery there. One night, at the command of the saint, a thoughtful bear brought wood to feed the fire which Gall and his companions had kindled in the forest, a truly druidical myth.

The fragmentary oldest Life was recast in the 9th century by two monks of Reichenau, enlarged in 816-24 by the celebrated Wettinus, and about 833-34 by Walafrid Strabo, who also revised a book of the miracles of the saint. Other works ascribed to Walafrid tell of Saint Gall in prose and verse.

External links

de:Gallus (Heiliger)

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