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Saint Lullus
Lullus statue hersfeld.jpg
Statue of Saint Lullus in Bad Hersfeld
Born 710
Died 16 October, 786
Hersfeld Abbey
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Canonized April 7, 852
Feast June 1

Saint Lullus (Lull or Lul) (born about 710 in Wessex, died 16 October 786 in Hersfeld) was the first permanent archbishop of Mainz, succeeding Saint Boniface, and first abbot of the Benedictine Hersfeld Abbey.

Monk to archbishop[edit]

Lullus was born in Wessex around 710 AD.[1] He was a monk in the Benedictine monastery of Malmesbury Abbey in Wiltshire. It is possible that his earlier name was "Rehdgerus" (possible in a multitude of spellings including Ratkar, Hredgar, Raedgar, etc.).[2] During a pilgrimage to Rome in 737 he met Saint Boniface and decided to join him in his missionary work in northern Germany. In 738, Lullus joined the Benedictine monastery of Fritzlar, founded by Boniface in 732, where abbot Saint Wigbert was his teacher. He became deacon in 740, and was ordained priest by Boniface in 747. In 752 he became auxiliary bishop under Saint Boniface. King Pippin confirmed him one year later as bishop of Mainz and in 754 he became archbishop, as Saint Boniface resigned and appointed Lullus his successor.[3][4] Lullus became the first regular archbishop of Mainz when Pope Hadrian I granted him the pallium in about 781. He then greatly expanded his bishopric by absorbing those of Büraburg (near Fritzlar) and Erfurt.

Carolingian era[edit]

From 769 onward, Lullus promoted the establishment of the Carolingian style monastery of Hersfeld Abbey, which he succeeded in having placed under Charlemagne's Carolingian dynasty protection in 775.

Lullus's chief accomplishment was the completion of Saint Boniface's reform of the church in the Frankish Carolingian Empire and the successful conclusion of the Christianization of the Germans in Hesse-Thuringia.[1] But while Boniface had looked for a close link to Rome, Lullus sought a better understanding with the Frankish kings.

Lullus died on 16 October 786 in Hersfeld Abbey at Bad Hersfeld, and is buried in the church.[1]


Hersfelder lullusfest entrance

Lullus was canonized on 7 April 852.

Lullusfest, the oldest folk festival in Germany, marked its 1,160th birthday in 2012. The festival celebrates the founding of the city of Bad Hersfeld. Founded more than 1,275 years ago, the city still reveres St Lullus, who left Malmesbury in the 730s on a mission to convert the German tribes to Christianity.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Saint Lullus", Athelstan Museum
  2. ^ Böhmer, Johann Friedrich (1877). "2. Lullus. 754 or 755-786". In Will, C. Regesta archiepiscoporum Maguntinensium. Regesten zur Geschichte der Mainzer Erbischöfe von Bonifatius bis Uriel von Gemmingen (742?-1514). Innsbruck. pp. xiv–xv. 
  3. ^ Mershman, Francis. "St. Boniface." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 24 Feb. 2013
  4. ^ "St. Boniface, Archbishop of Mentz, Apostle of Germany and Martyr", Butler's Lives of the Saints
  5. ^ Robins, Tina, "Malmesbury monk celebrated in Germany's oldest folk festival", Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 2 November 2012

Further reading[edit]

  • Anton Philipp Brück: "Der Mainzer „Lullismus“ im 18. Jahrhundert", in: JbBistumMainz; 4, 1949, pp. 314–338.
  • Michael Fleck (ed.): Lampert von Hersfeld. Das Leben des heiligen Lullus. N. G. Elwert, Marburg, 2007. ISBN 978-3-7708-1308-7
  • Jakob Schmidt: "Zwei angelsächsische Heilige, St. Bonifatius und St. Lullus, als Oberhirten von Mainz", in: JbBistumMainz; 2, 1947, pp. 274–291.
  • Franz Staab: "Lul und die Entwicklung vom Bistum zum Erzbistum". In: Handbuch der Mainzer Kirchengeschichte, Bd. 1 Christliche Antike und Mittelalter. Echter, Würzburg 2000, pp. 136–145 ISBN 3-429-02258-4
  • Horst Dickel (1993). "Lullus". In Bautz, Traugott. Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German). 5. Herzberg: Bautz. cols. 420–423. ISBN 3-88309-043-3. 
  • Eckhard Freise (1987), "Lul", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German), 15, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 515–517 ; (full text online)
  • Heinrich Hahn (1884), "Lul", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German), 19, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 632–633 
  • Lullus 1). article in: Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4. Aufl. 1888–1890, Bd. 10, S. 1001 f.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Saint Boniface
Archbishop of Mainz
Succeeded by