Wigbert of Hersfeld, St.

views updated


Anglo-Saxon abbot and missionary in Germany; d. Fritzlar, Germany, c. 746. An English monk of renowned sanctity, he was invited (c. 734) by boniface to assist in the evangelization of Germany. His peculiar talents being monastic, Boniface placed him as abbot of the old monastery of Fritzlar, in Hesse, to reform discipline there. sturmi was one of his students in the abbey school. Later he was sent on to Ohrdruf in Thuringia for the same purpose. Worn out by his efforts, he returned to Fritzlar, where he died. He was famous for his severe penances and fasts; his grave became a shrine. In 780 his relics were transferred to the abbey of hersfeld, where they were lost in the fire of 1761. In ecclesiastical art he is represented as holding a bunch of grapes that he had pressed into a chalice.

Feast: Aug. 13.

Bibliography: lupus of ferriÈres, Vita in Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores (Berlin 1826) 15.1:3743. c. hole, A Dictionary of Christian Biography, ed. w. smith and h. wace (London 187787) 4:1176. a. m. zimmermann, Kalendarium Benedictinum: Die Heiligen und Seligen des Benediktinerorderns und seiner Zweige (Metten 193338) 2:567569. w. levison, England and the Continent in the 8th Century (Oxford 1946) 235236. h. wunder, Die Wigberttradition in Hersfeld und Fritzlar (Erlangen 1969).

[j. l. druse]