Irmgardis of Cologne, St.

views updated


Countess of Aspel; d. last quarter of the 11th century. Irmgardis expended her inheritance in founding churches, a cloister, and charitable institutions. According to a highly legendary vita, she resided as an anchorite at Süchteln, where a chapel erected to her honor has stood since c. 1500. She moved to Cologne, where she lived the rest of her life, dedicating herself to works of charity. Three times she went on pilgrimage to Rome, and during the last she died. Her body was returned to Cologne, where it rests in a stone sarcophagus (dating from the first half of the 14th century) in the chapel of St. Agnes of the Cologne cathedral. The historical personality of Irmgardis is disputed. According to Oediger, Irmentrud of Aspel and Irmgardis of Cologne are the same person, to be distinguished from Irmgardis of Süchteln. Others claim that Irmgardis of Süchteln is Irmgardis of Cologne, a daughter of Irmentrud.

Feast: Sept. 4.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum Sept. 2:270278. Die Regesten der Erzbischöfe von Köln im Mittelalter, ed. f. w. oediger (Bonn 1954) 1:1047, 1188. Lexikon der deutschen Helligen , ed. j. torsy (Cologne 1959) 254.

[c. r. byerly]