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st.Ulric-Bishop of Augsburg, Germany; first saint to be canonized by a pope

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st.Ulric

Feast Day : July 4

 

 

Also known as: Ulrich

 

 

Ulric was born in 890 at Kyburg in the Swiss canton of Zurich, to Count Hucpald and Thetbirga. His parents were connected to the dukes of Alamannia and the imperial family of the Ottos. Ulric was sent to the monastic school of St. Gall. Though sickly, he excelled in his studies. Ulric was attracted to the priesthood and was sent to Augsburg, where he became the chamberlain of Bishop Adalbero. Upon Adalbero’s death on April 28, 910, Ulric returned home, where he remained until 923, when Adalbero’s successor, Bishop Hiltine, died. His influential relatives, especially his uncle, Duke Burchard of Alamannia, succeeded in getting him appointed to the post of bishop of Augsburg. He was consecrated on December 28, 923. Ulric set high moral standards and sought to improve the low moral and social conditions of the clergy, and to enforce a rigid adherence to the laws of the Church. He made his presence known by visiting as many churches as possible, and by playing an active role in the politics and judicial proceedings of the Ottonian empire. He traveled to Rome to obtain relics for his churches in either 952 or 953 (he had also gone to Rome for the same purpose in 910). In 955 the Magyars besieged Augsburg, and Ulric was instrumental in leading the city to hold out until Holy Roman Emperor Otto I’s troops could arrive and defeat the invaders. Ulric’s unbending adherence to Church laws is illustrated in the lore surrounding him. According to the most popular story, one Thursday night he dined late with a colleague. The meal went on past midnight. An aide deferentially observed that it was now Friday, and the two were still eating meat. The meat then miraculously turned to fish. On July 4, 973, the ailing Ulric anticipated and arranged the setting for his death. At dawn he had ashes strewn on the ground in the shape of a cross and sprinkled with holy water. Ulric was placed upon it. His nephew Richwin came with a message and greeting from Emperor Otto II. Ulric died beneath the rising sun while the clergy sang the litany. His body was interred in the Church of St. Afra, which had been rebuilt by him. Many miracles were reported at his grave. In art he is often shown with a fish.

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