St Kilian

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Saint Of The Day

A 7th century Irish missionary and martyr, St Kilian left from Mullagh for Germany with 11 companions. They crossed the North Sea, arriving at Ascaffenburg on the Rhine then sailed up the Rhine and the Main to Werzburg, where Kilian converted the local ruler. He then visited Pope Conon who is said to have asked him to form a mission to Thuringia and Eastern Franconia in about 686.

St Kilian probably met a violent death. A huge cult grew around him in northern Europe. He is the principle patron of Wurzburg where a mystery play about his life is performed every year.

His figure appears on coins and seals and there are several hymns about him. He is celebrated in Ireland, Austria and Germany on this day.

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