Aurelia of Strasbourg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Aurelia of Strasbourg
FeastOctober 15

Saint Aurelia of Strasbourg was a 4th-century saint, whose tomb in Strasbourg became the centre of a popular cult in the Middle Ages.


According to the legend, Aurelia accompanied Saint Ursula and the eleven thousand virgins from Roman Britain to Cologne, where they were favourably received by Aquilin, bishop of the place. From Cologne they traveled to Basel. From Basel the travelers descended the Rhine to Strasbourg where St Aurelia succumbed to a violent fever, dying after a few days. Three virgins were left to care for her. She was particularly invoked against fevers in the church that bears her name. [1] Her three companions lived many years in the same place and were buried there. Some centuries later their tomb was opened and their bodies were found completely intact, marked with titles bearing their names. This legend is reproduced in the current breviary of the Diocese of Strasbourg.

Grandidier, who questions the authenticity of the legend, observed that the cult of Saint Aurelia was already very popular in Strasbourg by the 9th century. [2]

The church of Sainte Aurélie in Strasbourg is supposed to have been built over the crypt in which the tomb of Saint Aurelia was situated. [3]

In 1524, Martin Bucer (a Protestant), soon after his appointment as pastor of the church, instigated members of the gardeners' guild to open the tomb and remove the bones, justifying this on the grounds that the tomb had become an object of idolatry. [4] [5]


  1. ^ François Giry (1703). Les vies des saints dont on fait l'office dans le cours de l'année, Volume 2. Couderot. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  2. ^ Philippe-André Grandidier (1777). Histoire de l'église et des évêques princes de Strasbourg: depuis la fondation de l'évêché jusqu'à nos jours. Levrault. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  3. ^ Eglise Sainte Aurélie - rue Martin Bucer. Archi-Strasbourg. 2012-04-28. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  4. ^ Robert George Winston (2006). Martin Bucer : his influence on the English Reformation and Anglicanism. North-West University. Retrieved 2013-11-16.
  5. ^ Jacques Baudoin (2006). Grand livre des saints: culte et iconographie en Occident. Creer. Retrieved 2013-11-14.