Saint of the Day – 17 January – Blessed Gamelbert of Michaelsbuch (c 720-c 802) Priest, Monk, Hermit. Born in c 720 in Bavaria (in modern Germany) and died in c 802 of natural causes.
“Such was his kindness of heart, that he used to buy the little birds caught by the peasants, in order to set them free. He never allowed his servants to work in the fields or woods, if bad weather threatened. He valued, above everything, peace and concord and kept the peace among his parishioners, as far as he possibly could.” – from “The Little Bollandists” by Monsignor Paul Guérin, 1882
Gamelbert was of noble descent and a Lord of Michaelsbuch.
After a pilgrimage to Rome, Gamelbert became a Priest and then the Parish Priest in Michaelsbuch, Germany for over 50 years.
In the mid-8th Century he acquired from Duke Tassilo III a piece of woodland on the opposite bank of the Danube between Mariaposching and Deggendorf, for which he had to pay a tax known as the Medema. From this was derived the name of Metten both for the place itself and for the Monastery which he established there, Metten Abbey..
The first Abbot was Gamelbert’s Godson Blessed Utto (Feast day 3 October), who directed the construction of the Monastery from his hermitage (the present Uttobrunn). In 766 twelve monks arrived from Reichenau Abbey as the first official occupants, although the place was well settled by then
In art, Gamelbert is represented as a Priest or as a pilgrim surrounded by birds.
Blessed Gamelbert was Beatified on 25 August 1909 by Pope Saint Pius X (cultus confirmed).
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