Statue of Saint Lullus in Bad Hersfeld
|Died||16 October, 786|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Canonized||April 7, 852|
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
Lullus was born in Wessex around 710 AD. 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.). 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.
In 741, Charles Martel died, and in this year the most important phase of Boniface's career started, with Lullus as his closest assistant. Many of the biographical facts about Lullus derive from the Boniface Correspondence: he is attested as a deacon in 745-46, as Boniface's archdeacon in 746-47, and as priest in 751 though he was probably ordained before that. The correspondence evidences that Lullus was trusted enough to be Boniface's messenger (he went to Rome twice on his behalf) and this includes the secret negotiations over Boniface's successor at Mainz. Lullus exchanges letters (and gifts) with Edburga of Minster-in-Thanet and Leoba, among others; while he may not have been the most important person in Boniface's life, but as the youngest of his associates and not yet tied to a specific place, he grew to be his closest associate. Moreover, a study by Michael Tangl, cited by Theodor Schieffer, suggests that Boniface, whose eyesight had begun to fail him early in the 740s, may have used Lullus's services in reading and writing the letters that were such an important part of his work, and Tangl suspected that Lullus likely cooperated with Boniface on some of the most important letters.
King Pippin confirmed him in 753 as bishop of Mainz and in 754 he became archbishop, as Saint Boniface resigned and appointed Lullus his successor. 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.
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. But while Boniface had looked for a close link to Rome, Lullus sought a better understanding with the Frankish kings.
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.
- "Saint Lullus", Athelstan Museum
- Böhmer, Johann Friedrich (1877). "2. Lullus. 754 or 755-786". In Will, C. (ed.). Regesta archiepiscoporum Maguntinensium. Regesten zur Geschichte der Mainzer Erbischöfe von Bonifatius bis Uriel von Gemmingen (742?-1514). Innsbruck. pp. xiv–xv.
- Schieffer, Theodor (1950). "Angelsachsen und Franken: II. Erzbischof Lul und die Anfänge des Mainzer Sprengels". Abhandlungen der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaftlichen Klass (in German). 20: 1431–1539.
- Mershman, Francis. "St. Boniface." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 24 Feb. 2013
- "St. Boniface, Archbishop of Mentz, Apostle of Germany and Martyr", Butler's Lives of the Saints
- Robins, Tina, "Malmesbury monk celebrated in Germany's oldest folk festival", Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 2 November 2012
- 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 (ed.). 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.
| Archbishop of Mainz