Rupert of Salzburg, St.
RUPERT OF SALZBURG, ST.
Founder and first bishop of Salzburg, patron of the church and region of Salzburg; d. March 27, c. 718. He was presumably a descendant of the Frankish merovin gian royal line. On mission territory entrusted to him by the Bavarian Duke Theodo (695–718), Rupert (Hrodbert or Robert) founded the monastery of sankt peter (c. 700) on the ruins of ancient Juvavum (Salzburg), with a community of Irish Celtic monks. He founded also the convent of nonnberg, which he entrusted to his niece (St.) Erentrude (d. c. 718) as first superior. These communities, which were later to become Benedictine, are the oldest monasteries in Austria and Germany. Sankt Peter was headed by a monastic bishop, Rupert being its first abbot bishop. He and his monks not only evangelized the Salzburg people but contributed greatly to their culture. Rupert helped develop mining in the area. The founding of a church over the grave of St. Maximilian in Pongau (Bischofshofen) among the Rhaeto–Romanic peoples can be traced to Rupert. He went also into the region of Lorch on the Enns (the old Roman Laureacum ), then moved to the south and built near Wallersee (today Seekirchen) a St. Peter's church. The main church in the city of Salzburg, built most likely on the site of the upper castle called Salzburg, was dedicated by Rupert to martin of tours, the Frankish Empire's patron saint and the protector of the Merovingians. It was later elevated to cathedral status with canons who lived according to the rule and constitutions of chrodegang of metz. Rupert was buried in Sankt Peter's abbey church, but in 773 his remains were moved to the new cathedral of Abbot Bishop virgilius of salzburg. A Frankish Sacramentary of the ninth century already recognized Rupert as a saint. He is
invoked in cases of erysipelas and children's convulsions. Often portrayed as a bishop with a barrel of salt, he is popularly venerated in Austria and in Bavaria, especially in the Rupertiwinkel between the Inn and Salzach Rivers. From 1701 to 1805 there was an Order of the Knights of St. Rupert composed of the Salzburg territorial nobility who bound themselves to celibacy and prayer.
Feast: March 27; September 24 (translation feast).
Bibliography: Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum 6:140–162. r. bauerreiss, Kirchengeschichte Bayerns (St. Ottilein 1949–55; 2d ed. 1958–) v. 1. Wattenbach–Levison 1:143. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, rev. ed. h. thurston and d. attwater, 4 v. (New York 1956) 1:700–701. i. zibermayr, "Die R. Legende," Mitteilungen des Instituts für österreichische Geschichtsforschung 62 (1954) 67–82. j. wodka, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 1957–65); suppl., Das Zweite Vatikanische Konzil: Dokumente und Kommentare, ed. h. s. brechter et al., pt. 1 (1966)2 9:106–107. f. grell, Der Salzbischof. St. Rupert (Salzburg 1973). r. gratz and a. hahnl, Hl. Rupert von Salzburg, eds. p. eder and j. kronbichler (Salzburg 1996).