Above: Southern Germany in 919 C.E.
SAINT ADALBERO OF AUGSBURG (DIED 909)
Roman Catholic Monk, Abbot, and Bishop
His feast transferred from April 28
SAINT ULRIC OF AUGSBURG (890-973)
Roman Catholic Bishop
His feast transferred from July 4
July 4, on my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, is a date I have reserved for Independence Day (U.S.A.). There is ecclesiastical precedence (not that I rely entirely on that standard) for placing that national holiday on a church calendar; The Episcopal Church’s proposed Book of Common Prayer of 1786 recognized July 4 with readings and a collect. The 1789 Prayer Book reversed this action, and the 1892 Book of Common Prayer followed in the steps of its 1789 predecessor. The return to the 1786 practice came with the 1928 Prayer Book, and the 1979 Book of Common Prayer has retained the observance. Due to the July 4 date for the Feast of St. Ulric of Augsburg on the Roman Catholic Church, then, I transfer that feast by one day.
Our story begins with his uncle, St. Adalbero of Augsburg (died 909). St. Adalbero, who had become a Benedictine at Dillengen in 850, served as Abbot of Ellswangen then as Abbot of Lorsch; he restored the latter abbey. Sometime after 887 St. Adalbero became Bishop of Augsburg. Aside from his episcopal tasks, St. Adalbero functioned as an adviser to German King and Holy Roman Emperor Arnulf (reigned 887-899), as tutor to Arnulf’s son and successor, Louis III the Child (born 893; reigned 899-911), the last Carolingian ruler, and functioned as Louis III’s regent for a few years.
St. Adalbero also educated his nephew, St. Ulric of Augsburg (890-973), a native of Augsburg. St. Ulric, as Bishop of Augsburg form 923 until his retirement, led the populace of the city in rebuilding the city and the cathedral after Magyars raided and plundered Augsburg. He retired to St. Gall Abbey in modern-day Switzerland, having named his nephew, Henry I of Augsburg (died 982), to succeed him. This seems to have been a bad choice, but some realities become clear only after the fact. Pope John XV canonized St. Ulric in 993. This was the first recorded canonization by a Bishop of Rome.
Each of us faces a unique set of challenges. You have yours, O reader, as I have mine. They overlap yet the sets of challenges are not identical. And Sts. Adalbero and Ulric of Augsburg had their unique sets of challenges. What matters is how each of us meets then. Do we, trusting in God, do our best? We are fallible, of course. We will have some good intentions and undesirable consequences of actions. Yet God knows this about us and works through us anyway.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
JUNE 5, 2012 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF ROBERT FRANCIS KENNEDY, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL AND SENATOR
THE FEAST OF SAINT BONIFACE OF MAINZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP
Almighty God, you have raised up faithful bishops of your church,
including your servants Saints Adalbero and Ulric of Augsburg.
May the memory of their lives be a source of joy for us and a bulwark of our faith,
so that we may serve and confess your name before the world,
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35
1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21
John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47
—Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60