Rupert of Salzburg

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Rupert of Salzburg
Saint Rupert depicted wearing a mitre, typical of a bishop
Born 660?
Died 27 March 710(710-03-27)
Salzburg, Austria
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Feast September 24 [1]
27 March
Attributes Holding a container of salt; wearing clerical clothes including mitre; holding a crosier
Patronage Salzburg, The State of Salzburg, Austria, salt miners

Rupert of Salzburg (German: Rupprecht[a], Latin: Robertus, Rupertus; c. 660[b] – 710 AD) was the Bishop of Worms, the first Bishop of Salzburg, and the abbot of St Peter's in Salzburg. He was a contemporary of Childebert III, king of the Franks,[2] and is a saint in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches.[3] Rupert is also a patron saint of the Austrian state of Salzburg.


Holy tradition states that Rupert was a scion of the Frankish royal Merovingian family,[3] related to the Robertian dynasty.

Baptism of Duke Theodo by Bishop Rupert, St Peter's Abbey Church

Although Rupert was at first accepted as a wise and devout bishop, the mostly pagan community eventually came to reject him and forced him out of Worms. But, his fortune changed soon after when Duke Theodo of Bavaria requested that he come to Bavaria to help spread the Catholic faith in the region.

Rupert then moved to Altötting where he converted the local people. He sailed down the Danube river, visiting many towns, villages, and forts. Soon he had converted a large area along the Danube southward to the border with the Pannonian lands which were ruled by the Avars. Here he stayed at Lorch (the former Roman city of Lauriacum, today part of Enns).

The dangerous and warlike conditions, however, made him abandon plans of missionary work in the Avar territories. Instead he proceeded to the then ruined Roman city of Juvavum where he made his base and renamed the city "Salzburg" (Latin: Salisburgum).[4] Rupert was able to build on ancient Early Christian traditions that were already in practice. He re-established St Peter's Abbey and laid the foundations of Salzburg Cathedral which was eventually finished by his successor Vergilius. He founded the Benedictine nunnery of Nonnberg beneath the Festungsberg fortifications, where his niece Saint Erentrude became the first abbess. Along with converting the locals, Rupert introduced education and other reforms. From the hands of Duke Theodo of Bavaria, he received further estates around Piding and Reichenhall, where he promoted the development of the local saltworks.

Rupert reportedly died on Easter Sunday around 710.[5] According to other sources, he returned to his hometown of Worms where he died in 717. His remains were transferred to Salzburg Cathedral by 774.


Rupert of Salzburg's veneration was in the Eastern Orthodox Church, Rupert's feast day is 27 March.[3] In Austria, it is on the 24th of September.[1]



  1. ^ also known as Rudbertus, Roudbertus, Rupertus, Hrodperht, Hrodpreht, and Robert.[2]
  2. ^ According to Schmid, "The assumption of 660 as the year of his birth is very likely legendary."



 Delehaye, Hippolyte (1911). "Rupert, St". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. ; Endnotes:

  • Bibliotheca hagiographica Latina, (Brussels, 1899), n. 7390-7403
  • W. Levison, “Die älteste Lebensbeschreibung Ruperts von Salzburg” in Neues Archiv fur aeltere deutsche Geschichtskunde, xxviii. 283 seq.
  • Hauck, Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands (3rd ed.), i. 372 seq.

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