St. Rupert of Salzburg (Feast: March 29)
Rupert’s origins are obscure, though there are strong indications that he was a Frenchman, and, according to a certain tradition, a scion of the old Frankish Merovingian family – and certainly a contemporary of Childebert III, king of the Franks.
Rupert was already a bishop and known for his great virtue, when he was invited by Duke Theodo of Bavaria, himself still a pagan, to evangelize his people.
Although the Gospel had already been preached in Bavaria, its people were, for all intents and purposes, but nominally Catholic, as pagan practices and Arian heretical beliefs persisted in their midst, adulterating the purity of the Christian doctrine.
Rupert and his companions were warmly received in the ancient town of Ratisbon. The Duke Theodo presently received Baptism and with him a number of his nobles.
With no serious opposition to the missionaries’ work, Christianity flourished under the apostolate of Bishop Rupert and his companions who proceeded to confirm the faith of some, to evangelize many, Christianize pagan temples, and build churches. In the course of his work the saintly bishop worked countless miracles.
In his generosity, Theodo gave Rupert the region of Juvavum, present-day Salzburg in Austria, for his apostolic see. Returning to France, the abbot-bishop convinced another twelve men, as well as his niece St. Erentrudis, to join him in his mission.
With his niece he founded a Benedictine monastery for women in Nonnberg, and with the twelve men a Benedictine monastery for men, St. Peter at Salzburg. The saint spent his life dedicated to the work of not only evangelizing and guiding his flock, but also of civilizing his people.
He also did much to promote the salt mines in the region for which he renamed the city Salzburg.
Rupert died in Salzburg around the year 710. Many churches in the region are named after this Apostle of Austria and Bavaria, and the first Abbot-Bishop of Salzburg.
DAILY QUOTE for May 5, 2021
SAINT OF THE DAY
St. Hilary of Arles
One of the stories that particularly touched me was Jacinta's final illness with the dreaded flu of the time and her death — alone in a hospital far from home.