Adalbert the Deacon, St.

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Missionary; b. England, late seventh century; d. Egmond, Holland, June 25, 705. Possibly a member of the English royalty, he devoted himself to missionary work. Under the leadership of St. willibrord, Adalbert left his monastery in 690 to evangelize Friesland. Though he never advanced beyond the rank of deacon, Adalbert's patience and kindness made him an effective witness to the faith. He became archdeacon of Utrecht, a position entailing considerable responsibility. In about 702 he went to preach in northern Holland and built a church in Egmond, where he is buried. After his death his tomb became a place of pilgrimage, and his cult had the support of the counts of Holland, who in 923 founded the Abbey of Egmond in his honor. Adalbert's first biographer, Rupert, wrote almost 200 years later, and hence the details of his vita are largely conjectural. He should not be confused with the Abbot Adalbert of Echternach.

Feast: June 25.

Bibliography: j. mabillon, Acta sanctorum ordinis S. Benedicti (Venice 1733-40) 3:586600. Acta Sanctorum June 7:8295. a. butler, Lives of the Saints (New York 1956) 2:641642.

[j. f. fahey]