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Burchard of Würzburg, St.


Bishop; b. England; d. Germany, 753 or 754. When already a benedictine monk Burchard was attracted by the great apostolate of his countryman St. boniface and left England, probably c. 735, to become a disciple and collaborator of the Apostle of Germany. When Boniface established the hierarchy in Thuringia, he made Burchard the first bishop of Würzburg in 741 or 742. On April 21, 743, Burchard attended the first German synod and in 747 the general synod of Franconia, and he went to Rome in 748 to report on the state of the Church in Franconia. He enjoyed the esteem of pepin iii, who sent him in 750 and 751 with Fulrad of Saint-Denis (d. 784) to Rome regarding the deposition of childeric iii, last of the merovin gians, and recognition of Pepin's claim to be king of the Franks. Upon his death, Burchard was buried in the cathedral of Würzburg, but on Oct. 14, 983 Bishop Hugo (d. 990) translated his relics to the monastery of St. Andrew, founded by Burchard in 752. The account of his abdication (Vita II ) seems to be mere legend.

Feast: Oct. 14.

Bibliography: Vita Burchardi I, unreliable 9th-century life, and Vita II, 12th century, both ed. o. holder-egger in Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores 15.1:4762. Vita Sancti Burkardi, Die jüngere Lebensbeschreibung des hl. Burkard, ed. f. j. bendel (Paderborn 1912). e. ullrich, Der hl. Burkardus erster Bischof von Würzburg (Würzburg 1877). Bibliotheca hagiograpica latina antiquae et mediae aetatis (Brussels 18981901) 1:148385. a. m. zimmermann, Kalendarium Benedictinum (Metten 193338) 3:177180. w. levison, England and the Continent in the Eighth Century (Oxford 1946).

[p. l. hug]

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