Ulric of Augsburg, St.

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German bishop of the Ottonian Reform era; d. Augsburg, July 4, 973. A descendant of the Swabian noble family of Wittislinger, he attended the monastery school at sankt gallen. He then entered the service of his uncle, Bp. Adalbert of Augsburg, who ordained him. After his uncle's death, Ulric administered the estates of his relatives for 15 years. Consecrated bishop in 924, he directed the Diocese of augsburg for half a century. He encouraged liturgical reform in his church, founded (968) St. Stephen's monastery for canonesses, and rebuilt the cathedral, which had been destroyed by fire, and raised kempten and ottobeuren to abbeys; he led a simple, pious, and charitable life. Ulric traveled to Rome three times on business matters. He was active in his role as an imperial prince and, in greatly aiding the successful defense of Augsburg in 955, contributed to the victory over the Hungarians, for which he was granted the title Pater patriae, and became the first German bishop to receive the right to mint coin, from Emperor otto i. He was buried in the crypt of the church of St. Afra. His was the first solemn canonization; it was held in 993 by Pope john xv. His remains were transferred in 1187 to the newly constructed St. Ulric cathedral, where his grave is a pilgrimage site. He is patron saint of the city and Diocese of Augsburg, as well as of pilgrims, the dying, and weavers. He is invoked in many illnesses, and against rat and mouse plagues; an Ulric cross and Ulric waters were thought to protect the user. Ulric is usually portrayed with a fish.

Feast: July 4.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum July 2:73135. Monumenta Germaniae Historica (Berlin 1826) Scriptores 4:377425. a. bigelmair, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. m. buchberger, 10 v. (Freiburg 193038) 10: 365368. f. l. cross, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London 1957) 1387. r. bauer-reiss, Kirchengeschichte Bayerns (2d ed. Munich 1958) v.2. p. dÖrfler, St. Ulrich der grosse Bischof (2d ed. Augsburg 1955). f. zoepfl, Das Bistum Augsburg und seine Bischöfe im Mittelalter (Munich 1956). w. wolf, Von der Ulrichsvita zur Ulrichslegende (Munich 1967). berno von reichenau, Das Leben des Heiligen Ulrich, ed. k.e. geith (Berlin 1971). w. pÖtzl, Bischof Ulrich und seine Zeit (Augsburg 1973). g. steinbauer, St. Ulrich, Patron des Bistums Augsburg: Untersuchungen zur Ulrichslegende (s.l. 1981).

[a. krause]