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ST. ULRIC OF AUGSBURG
SATURDAY, JULY 04, 2015

St. Ulric was born in 890 at Kyburg, Zurich, Switzerland and died on July 4, 973 at Augsburg of natural causes.  He was buried in the Church of Saint Afra.

St. Ulric was born in 890 at Kyburg, Zurich, Switzerland as the son of Count Hucpald and Thetbirga. He was related to the dukes of Alamannia and the imperial family of the Ottos. He was a sickly child, but as a boy was educated at the monastic school of Saint Gall and proved to be an excellent student. He also served as chamberlain to his uncle, Blessed Adalbero, bishop of Augsburg.

He was ordained as Bishop of Augsburg on December 28, 923. During his tme as bishop, he built churches, visited from parish to parish, worked with the sick in hospitals, set a good example for his priests to follow, and brought relics from Rome. His good works paid off in the form of improved moral and social conditions for both the clergy and laity.

When the Magyars plundered Germany, they besieged Augsburg. Due to Ulric's courage, his leadership, and his ability to organize the resistance, Augsburg held firm until Emperor Otto arrived. On August 10, 955, a battle was fought in Lechfeld, and the invaders were finally defeated. Some legends say that Ulrich actually fought in the battle, but that was impossible.

After 48 years as bishop, an ill and exhausted Ulric resigned his seat, and handed the diocese over to his nephew-a move which had the blessing of the emporer, but which the Synod of Ingelheim ruled uncanonical, and they charged and tried the aging bishop for nepotism. Ulrich apologized, did penance, and was forgiven, the message of which reached him on his death bed.

A letter circulated for a while that indicated Ulric did not support priestly celibacy, seeing it as an unnecessary burden. However, this was later proven a forgery, and Ulric had certainly enforced the discipline upon himself as well as his clergy.

Ulric was the first saint to be canonized by a Pope, which led to the formal process that continues today. Legend has it that pregnant women who drank from his chalice had easy deliveries, and thus developed his patronage of pregnant women and easy births. The touch of his pastoral cross was used to heal people bitten by rabid dogs.

Ulric was canonized on February 3, 993, by Pope John XV.

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January 29, 2015

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