German Couple

St Ulrich of Augsburg (890-973)
Written and researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewski

St Ulrich

St. Ulrich's feast day is July 4th. He was a Bishop and is the Patron Saint of Augsburg, weavers, wine growers, and wanderers.

St. Ulrich was born in 890 in Augsburg, Germany. He was the son of the Renaissance noble Hupald, Count of Dillingen/Count Huebald of Swabia. His parents were German nobility. As a young man Ulrich was sent to the Benedictine monastery of St. Gall from age 7 years. They say that he was an excellent student.

Unsure whether he should be a priest or a monk, Ulrich pursued more training from his Uncle Adalbero. In 908/909, he was consecrated, to the priesthood, by his uncle Adalbero, Bishop of Augsburg. Adalbero made Ulrich a Chamberlain, and later on he took the bishophood after his uncle. Ulrich's bishophood was consecrated by Bishop Heringer of Mainz. Ulrich was said to be strict, but gentle, in his role as bishop.

Ulrich spent his time trying to improve the moral standards of his clergy. Ulrich wanted religion to be more available to the people, so he built many churches and visited his diocese regularly. He counseled Emperor Otto I regarding a riff between Otto and his son. However, Otto's son escalated their argument into violence.

When the Magyars (Hungarians) raided Germany, Ulrich advised his citizens to resist. They built a wall around the city which kept the Magyars at bay until the kings troops were able to drive them away. Ulrich helped to rebuild the city and restore its cathedral. He gave generously to those who had been devastated by the war.

In 923, King Henry "the Fowler" made Ulrich the Bishop of Augsburg. Ulrich was showered with gifts by King Henry I. In 953/954 Ulrich supported King Henry at the rebellion of Henry's son Liutolf. King Otto I defeated the Maygars at the Battle of Lechfeld, near Augsburg, on August 10, 955. In 955, Ulrich led the team under the leadership of his own brother, Dietpald, to Lechfeld.

Ulrich supported Benediktbeuern monastery and founded the Canonical Convent of St. Stephen in 968. Ulrich became ill in his elder years. He then decided to return to Gall as a monk. In 972, he resigned as bishop. He then died lying on a cross of ashes he had placed on the floor. He died July 4, 973. Ulrich was buried in the Church of Ulrich and Afra in Augsburg.

Pope John XV declared Ulrich a saint only twenty (20) years after his death. Ulrich was the first recorded example of papal canonization.

***Augsburg is a city on the Lech River of Schwaben, Bayern (Bavaria) in Southwest Germany.


Jöckle, Clemens. Encyclopedia of Saints. London: Alpine Fine Arts Collection Ltd., 1995, 52-53.

Kelly, Sean and Rosemary Rodgers. The Buirthday Book of Saints, New York: Villard Books, 2001.

Kelly, Sean and Rosemary Rodgers. Saints Preserve Us. New York: Random House, 1993, 31.

Loudes, Jiri. Lines of Succession. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 2002.

McNeill, John. Illustrated Lives of the Saints. New York: Crescent Books, 1995, 28.

Ordinary People Extraordinary Lives New York: IMP Incorporated, 2002.

Whiteside, Lesley. The Book of the Saints New York: Quadrillion Publishing, Inc., 1998, 41.

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