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Saint Kilian

Saint Kilian
  • Century: 7th Century
  • Patronage: Sufferers of Rheumatism
  • Feast Day: July 8th

Saint Kilian was born in Mullagh, Ireland. He is the patron saint of the parish of Tuosist, near Kenmare, Ireland where he is believed to have resided before traveling to Germany.  Although he was an Irish Missionary Bishop, he became the apostle of Franconia, now the northern part of Bavaria, where he began his work towards the end of the 7th century.  A church with a “holy” well on it’s property is named after him in Germany, and on his feast day, July 8th, he is still celebrated with large crowds and evening social events that celebrate his life, to this day. In Wurzburg, there is a two-weeks religious festival in July, and to this day, is the main festival in that region celebrating his life.  

There are several biographies of St. Kilian, and the oldest text refer to him as a native to Ireland, when with eleven companions he went to eastern Franconia.  After having preached the Gospel in Wurzburg, he succeeded in converting many to Christianity.  He was known for preaching the Gospel with zeal, and for bringing the faith to many in the 7th century, in both Ireland and Germany.   

St. Kilian eventually told the Duke, that he was in violation of sacred scripture by being married to his brother’s widow, Geilana.  When Geilana, whom Kilian had failed to convert to Christianity, heard of Kilian’s words against her marriage, she was so angry that she had her soldiers sent to the main square of Wurzburg, where Kilian and his colleagues were preaching, and had him beheaded, along with two of his companions, St. Colman and St. Totnan.  

Practical Take Away 

St. Kilian knew that the Gospel was the path to everlasting life.  He knew that he had to preach it, so others would come to know Jesus as well.  He was willing to leave his homeland, and go to another country in order to bring the good news to those that have never heard it.  He also knew in doing this, he would be putting his life in jeopardy, but was willing to do it for the sake of our Lord.  How many of us are willing to make the same sacrifices to bring Jesus to those that are so in need of His love and mercy today?  Sometimes the truth that Jesus reveals to us is not always easy to accept, but with the intercession of St. Kilian, we can count on his help.