St. Arbogast entering Strasbourg, illustration from the Alsacian Legenda Aurea (1419)
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
Only little historical facts of his life can be stated with certainty, other than that he came to Francia, was appointed Bishop of Strasbourg and was venerated as from the early medieval period as the saint who brought Christianity to the Alsace. Because of this, the given name Arbogast became especially popular in the region.
Some sources give the year of his death as 678, in keeping with his being appointed by Dagobert II according the 10th-century hagiographical account of his life. But as Arbogast was buried in the old Roman necropolis outside the city.
According to the tradition placing him in the late 7th century, Arbogast found a warm friend in the Merovingian King Dagobert II of Austrasia. On Dagobert's accession to the throne of Austrasia, Arbogast was appointed Bishop of Strasbourg, and was famed for sanctity and miracles. Still according to the vita, Arbogast brought back to life Dagobert's son, Siegebert, who had been killed by a fall from his horse. Siegebert had been boar hunting with his father’s huntsmen in forests along the Ill River near Ebersheim, and became separated from the others. He encountered a boar, and his startled horse reared, throwing him and trampling him while his foot was caught in his stirrup. His companions found him and took him home, where he died the next day. King Dagobert summoned Arbogast, and the holy man prayed to Saint Mary, mother of Jesus: as she had carried the life of the entire world, would she not intercede for the life of this one boy? Siegebert stood up in his burial shroud. When the king offered bishop Arbogast money in reward, he declined, suggesting instead that land be donated to build a cathedral at Strasbourg.
At his own special request, he was buried on the side of Hangman's Hill, where a gallows was located and only malefactors were interred. The site of his burial was subsequently deemed suitable for a church, and a chapel to was built in honor of St Michael. Arbogast is commemorated on 21 July.
- Webb, Alfred (1878). " Arbogast". A Compendium of Irish Biography. Dublin: M. H. Gill & son. Wikisource
- Ward, Donald (translator), The German Legends of the Brothers Grimm, Vol. II, Institute for the Study of the Human Issues, Philadelphia (1981), legend 437.
- Grattan-Flood, William. "St. Arbogast." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 14 Apr. 2013
|Catholic Church titles|
|Bishop of Strasbourg