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Cunibert of Cologne, St.


Bishop; b. Moselle region of France, late sixth century; d. c. 663. He was educated at the court of Chlotaire II (d. 628) in Metz and at the cathedral school of trier, where he later became archdeacon. Consecrated bishop of cologne on Sept. 25, 623, he participated in the synods of Clichy (626627) and Reims (627630). Cunibert was a counselor to the mayor of the palace, (Bl.) Pepin of Landen (d. 640), and to King Dagobert I (d. 639). He was also made tutor of Dagobert's young son, sigebert iii, and in 634, one of his ministers in Austrasia. During his episcopate, he organized an apparently unsuccessful missionary endeavor among the Frisians, with its center at Utrecht, and founded convents, charitable institutions, and churches, among them St. Clement, later renamed St. Cunibert, in Cologne, where he was buried. His cult has been popular since the ninth century. The medieval lives of the saint, dating probably from the tenth century, are unreliable. In iconography he is represented as a bishop holding a church model with a dove hovering over him.

Feast: Nov. 12.

Bibliography: w. neuss, ed., Geschichte des Erzbistums Köln (Cologne 1964 ) 1:127131. a. franzen, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 13:111112, good bibliog. r. aigrain, Catholicisme 3:375. m. coens, "Les Vies de s. Cunibert de Cologne et la tradition manuscrite," Analecta Bollandiana 47 (1929) 338367.

[m. f. mccarthy]

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