Saint of the Day – 6 March – St Fridolin Vandreren of Säckingen (Died c540) “Apostle of the Upper Rhine” Monk, Abbot, Missionary, wandering Evangelist, Founder of the Monastery in Säckingen, Baden (part of modern Germany), Miracle-worker. Born in Ireland and died in c540 at Säckingen, Germany of natural causes. Also known as – Fredelinus, Fridolin of Säckingen, the Irish Wanderer, Fridold or Fredelinus.
A surviving Vita of Fridolin was written by one Balther (Baltherus), a Monk of Säckingen Monastery, According to the Vita, Fridolin belonged to a noble family in Ireland and at first was a missionary there.
Then crossing to France, he came to Poitiers, where in answer to a vision, he sought out the Relics of Saint Hilary (315-368) and having found them where St Hilary had instructed him to look, Fridolin built a Church in which to enshrine them.
Saint Hilary subsequently appeared to him in a dream and commanded him to proceed to an Island in the Rhine. In obedience to this summons, Fridolin approached Clovis I, who granted him possession of the still unknown Island and thence proceeded through Strasbourg and Coire, founding Churches in every district in honour of Saint Hilary.
At last, reaching the Island of Säckingen in the Rhine, Fridolin recognised the Island indicated in the dream and prepared to build a Church there. The inhabitants of the banks of the Rhine, however, who used the Island as pasture for their cattle, mistook Fridolin for a cattle-robber and expelled him. On his production of Clovis’s Deed of Gift, he was allowed to return and to found a Church and Monastery.
He then resumed his missionary labours. He founded the “Scottish Monastery” (Schottenstift) in Konstanz and extended his mission to Augsburg.
Fridolin’s connection to Glarus is based on a later legend, a 13th-century addition to Balther’s Vita under the title, the Miracles of St Fridolin. In this addition, he converted a landowner, named Ursus. On his death Ursus left his lands in the Linth valley (the later Glarus), to Fridolin, who founded numerous Churches dedicated to Saint Hilary. Ursus’s brother, Landolf refused to accept the legitimacy of the gift and brought Fridolin before a Court at Rankweil,to prove his title. Fridolin did so by summoning Ursus from the dead to confirm the gift in person, so terrifying Landolf that he gave his lands to Fridolin as well.
He died on 6 March and was buried at Säckingen. His Relics are venerated in Säckingen although there are countless Churches dedicated to St Fridolin in Germany, Alsace, France and Switzerland.. The City of Glarus in Switzerland has our Saint on their Coat of Arms and below is a Banner of St Fridolin on exhibit in Glarus. St Petrus Damian (1007-1072) wrote of St Frdiolin but refers to the Saint as Fredelinus.