Irish pilgrim; b. Ireland, late tenth century; d. Stockerau, near Vienna, Austria, July 17, 1012. He may have been the son of Maolsheachlainn II, High-King of Ireland (980–1002 and 1014–22). While traveling secretly as a pilgrim to the Holy Land, he was arrested as a spy on July 16, 1012, and after being tortured he was hanged on the following day. Subsequently, many miracles were reported where his body had been buried and on Oct. 13, 1014, Margrave Henry I had it transferred to melk, where he now rests in the Benedictine abbey church. Throughout Austria, Hungary, and southern Germany scores of churches are dedicated to him, and he is invoked as protector of farm animals and patron of marriageable girls. Several villages in Austria and Germany also bear his name. Iconographically he is shown with pilgrim staff and a rope or withe about his neck. He is one of the patrons of Austria, but he was superseded as national patron by St. leopold iii in 1663.
Feast: Oct. 13.
Bibliography: Acta Sanctae Sedis Oct. 6:357–362; Suppl., 13 Oct.:149–152. Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores 4:674–681. j. urwalek, Der königliche Pilger St. Colomann (Vienna 1880). Bibliotheca hagiograpica latina antiquae et mediae aetatis (Brussels 1898–1901) 1:1881–82. c. juhaiz, S. Koloman der einstige Schutzpatron Niederösterreichs (Linz 1916). l. gougaud, Les Saints irlandais hors d'Irlande (Louvain 1936) 47–50. m. niederkorn-bruck, Der heilige Koloman: der erste Patron Niederösterreichs (Vienna 1992). f. Ó. briain, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 13:256–257.