Saint Amphibalus baptizing converts
|Died||25 June 304
Verulamium (St Albans), Hertfordshire
|Honored in||formerly Roman Catholic Church|
|Major shrine||St Albans Cathedral, Hertfordshire (reconstructed medieval shrine)|
|Feast||25 June (or 24 June) |
|Attributes||Priest with cloak|
|Patronage||The Christian persecuted|
|Controversy||'Amphibalus' is almost certainly not his real name; many of the major details of his life may be medieval embellishments|
The Legend 
A man called Alban, believed to have been a Romano-British citizen of the Roman town of Verulamium around the end of the 3rd century, gave shelter to an itinerant Christian priest, later called Amphibalus and was converted to Christianity by him. Prior to Christianity becoming the official religion of the Roman Empire, Christians in Britain were persecuted by Romans. When Roman soldiers came in search of the priest, Alban and Amphibalus exchanged cloaks, and Alban was arrested instead of Amphibalus. Alban was executed on the current site of St Albans Cathedral.
It is unlikely that Amphibalus was the genuine name of the priest - it is likely to be Geoffrey of Monmouth's misunderstanding of the Latin word used for the cloak, amphibalus, passed to Alban. Similarly, other details concerning the life of Amphibalus should be approached with historical caution. He is believed to have come from Caerleon, and to have converted numerous Britons to Christianity, including Saints Socrates and Stephen with whom he fled to Wales. He was later caught by the Romans, and returned to Verulamium where he was executed.
A later development in the legend informs us that the cleric's name was Amphibalus, and that he, with some companions, was stoned to death a few days afterwards at Redbourn, four miles from St. Albans.
Shrine at St. Alban's 
Remains identified as of Amphibalus were discovered at Redbourn in Hertfordshire, England, near the town of St Albans, in 1178, and placed in the Abbey Church. The cell of St. Amphibalus at Redbourn was established as the result of the alleged miraculous discovery of the remains of St. Amphibalus and his fellow-martyrs in 1178. St. Alban appeared at night to an inhabitant of St. Albans called Robert, and told him that he wished to make known the burial-place of Amphibalus, who had converted him to Christianity. Robert rose,was led by the saint to Redbourn, and shown the spot where Amphibalus and his companions lay. After marking the place for future identification, Robert returned with St. Alban, who disappeared when they arrived at his church. The story was spread abroad, and in the end reached Abbot Simon, who sent some monks with Robert, and set a guard over the ground, the holiness of which was attested by miracles of healing. Exploration there was rewarded by the discovery of several bodies, one of which was identified as that of St. Amphibalus from the received account of the manner of his death. The remains were removed to the abbey, and on their way were met by a procession of monks with the shrine of St. Alban, who showed his joy by wonderful signs.
The first shrine to Saint Amphibalus was destroyed when the roof of the abbey collapsed. A new shrine was built circa 1350, but was destroyed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and the remains of Saint Amphibalus were dispersed. Fragments of the shrine were found in the nineteenth century and can be found in St Albans Cathedral.
Winchester Cathedral was under the patronage St Amphibalus before it was dedicated to St Swithun.
- "Alban: Britain's first Christian martyr', The Story of St. Alban, St. Alban's Cathedral
- Thurston, Herbert. "St. Alban." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 25 Dec. 2012
- Page, William,ed., 'Houses of Benedictine monks: Redbourn Priory', A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 4 (1971), pp. 416-419
- The Buttercross, City of Winchester
- A depiction of Saint Amphibalus baptizing converts
- Village of Redbourn homepage
- Wall, J. Charles, Shrines of British Saints, Methuen & Co., London 1905