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ST. BURCKARD, C., FIRST BISHOP OF WURTZBURG

(IN LATIN, HERBIPOLIS, IN FRANCONIA.)

ST. BONIFACE standing in need of fellow-laborers powerful in words and works in the vast harvest which he had on his hands in Germany, about the year 732, invited over from England St. Lullus and St. Burckard, who seem by this circumstance to have come from the kingdom of West-Sex: they were both persons of an apostolic spirit. St. Boniface consecrated St. Burckard with his own hands the first bishop of Wurtzburg in Franconia, where St. Kilian had preached the word of life, and suffered martyrdom about fifty years before. This whole country was by his ministry converted to Christ. Excessive fatigues having, in ten years time, exhausted his strength, with the consent of king Pepin, and by the approbation of St. Lullus. (St. Boniface being gone to preach in Friesland,) he resigned his bishopric to Megingand, a monk of Fritzlar, and disciple of St. Wigbert, in 752. Retiring into a solitude in that part of his diocese called Hohenburg, he spent the remaining part of his life with six fervent monks or clergymen in watching, fasting, and incessant prayer. He died on the 9th of February, 752, and was buried near the relics of St. Kilian at Mount St. Mary’s, or Old Wurtzburg, where he had built a monastery under the invocation of St. Andrew. Hugh, bishop of Wurtzburg, chancellor to the emperor Otho IV., authorized by an order of pope Benedict VII. about the year 983, made a very solemn translation of his relics; the 14th of October, the day on which this ceremony was performed, has been regarded as his principal festival. Out of veneration for his sanctity, king Pepin, in 752, declared the bishops of Wurtzburg dukes of Franconia, with all civil jurisdiction. The emperor Henry IV. alienated several parts of Franconia, but the bishops of Wurtzburg retain the sovereignty of this extensive diocese, though it was much larger before St. Henry II. erected the bishopric of Bamberg. The life of St. Burckard is written by an anonymous author above two hundred years after his death; and again, from uncertain memorials, by Egilward, a monk of Wurtzburg. See Fabricius,1. Salutaris Lux Evangelii toti orbi exoriens sive Notitia Historica et Geographica propagatorum per orbem Christianorum Sacrorum, c. 19, p. 419; Eyring, Diss. de Ortu et progressu religion Christ. in Francia Orientali, edit. Lipsiæ, 1704. Ignat. Groppius a Benodictin, Scriptores Rerum Wircerburg, p. 489, (edit. 1741,) and Hansizius, a Jesuit, German. Sacra, t. 2.








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