Lay leader of the Patarines in 11th-century Milan; d. Milan, Italy, Holy Thursday, April 1075. On his return from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, he decided to become a monk; but with the death of his brother, landulf of Cotta, Erlembald resumed his life as a knight, and led the Patarines against the forces of antireform headed by the Milanese Archbishop Guido of Velate.
After the brutal murder of St. arialdo, another Patarine leader, in 1066, the movement was to become more militant. Erlembald, now the sole head, sought to avenge his friend's death. Thus, from 1067 on, the word of Arialdo transcended to the sword of Erlembald. By the 1070s, this eagle-eyed, red-bearded soldier of God, who was "like a pope to judge the priests, a king to crumble the peoples," transformed Milan into a battleground.
By 1075 the conflict between Church and State, which had been developing for many decades, was brought into the open by the Milanese situation. Therefore, the Patarines, under Erlembald, served as a catalyst for the investiture struggle.
After Erlembald's death in one of the battles, the movement was largely dissipated. Some Patarines went to other cities in Italy, and the rest receded into the twilight for nearly 20 years. Erlembald was canonized by Pope urban ii, who sought to make a gesture of peace with the remaining die-hards from the Patarine party. He shares the same feast day as his friend, Arialdo.
Feast: June 27.
Bibliography: andrew of strumi, "Vita Sancti Arialdi," Monumenta Germaniae Scriptores (Berlin 1825–) 30.2. 1047–75. arnulf, "Gesta archiepiscoporum Mediolanensium," Monumenta Germaniae Scriptores (Berlin 1825–) 8.1–31. landulf senior, "Historia Mediolanensis," Monumenta Germaniae Scriptores (Berlin 1825–) 8.32–100. s. m. brown, "Movimenti politico-religiosi a Milano ai tempi della Pataria," Archivio storico lombardo, ser. 58, 6 (1931) 227–278. c. castiglioni, I santi Arialdo ed Erlembaldo e la Pataria (Milan 1944). h. e. j. cowdrey, "The Papacy, the Patarenes and the Church of Milan," Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, ser. 5, 18 (1968) 25–48. y. renouard, Les villes d'Italie de la fin du x e siècle au début du xiv e siècle, v. 2 (Paris 1969). e. werner, Pauperes Christi: Studien zu sozialreligiösen bewegungen im zeitalter des reformpapsttums (Leipzig 1956). j. p. whitney, Hildebrandine Essays (Cambridge 1932) 143–157.
[p. m. levine]