Saint of the Day – 13 August – St Wigbert of Fritzlar (c 675-c 746) a learned Scholar and Abbot, Missionary, Miracle-worker, gifted with a penetrating understanding of Sacred Scripture as well as the gift of prophecy, companion of St Boniface, the Apostle of Germany. Born in c 518 in Erfurt, Saxony (England) and died on 13 August c 587 in Poitiers, France of natural causes. Wigbert was known as a quiet and gentle man and a great teacher. Both St Alcuin and St Bede knew and mentioned him in their historical writings of the times and of the Church. St Bede admired his contempt of this world and his learning. Patronages – against drowning, against fever, against leprosy, against scabies, against scabs, against the death of parents, against ulcers, difficult marriages, of potters, weavers, Poitiers, France.
Wigbert was born in England about 675 of noble parents. He was known for the purity of his morals, his zeal for the salvation of souls, his boundless love, his penetrating knowledge and familiarity with the Sacred Scriptures.
Wigbert became a Monk, working with great piety to increase his sanctity in the monastic environment, to live the Rule in its entirety and to help others to do the same. He spent many years in Ireland, there using his great skill in teaching to help others in their search for knowledge and wisdom. St Boniface summoned him from England to Germany and, in about the year 734 Wigbert went to Germany to join the great Missionary. , There he was made Abbot of the Monastery of Hersfeld in Hesse. Among his pupils was St Sturmi, first Abbot of Fulda.
In about 737, Boniface transferred Wigbert to Thuringia as Abbot of Ohrdruf, where he worked with the same success as in Hersfeld. Later, Wigbert obtained Boniface’s permission to return to Hersfeld to spend his remaining days in stillness and to prepare for the hour of death.
Even in old age and in illness, he continued his austere mode of life, until the very end. The Saint reposed at Hersfeld in about 746. He was buried at Fritzlar in an inconspicuous grave but during an incursion of Saxons (774), his remains were taken for safety to Buraburg and from there, in 780, his sacred relics were transferred by Abbot St Lullus to Hersfeld.
In the year 850 a beautiful Church was built and dedicated to St Wigbert but it was razed by fire in 1037. A new Church replaced it and dedicated in 1144 but it burned in 1761 in a great fire. Thereafter, St Wigbert’s sacred relics were never found again by men.