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Saint of the Day

St. Killian

July 8
Died, 689.

One day Killian made up his mind to be a missionary, left his native country of Ireland with eleven companions, and set out for Europe. They traveled through Gaul, arrived at Aschaffenburg on the Rhein and then sailed up to the River Main and Wurzburg. The castle of Würzburg was at that time inhabited by the Frankish Duke Gosbert (Gospert, Gozbert), who was, like his people, still pagan. Kilian resolved to preach the Gospel here, but first journeyed with his companions to receive guidance from the pope. Kilian and his companions arrived in Rome in the autumn of 686, expecting to receive his missionary faculties from Pope John V, but John V had died and had been succeeded by Pope Conon. Fortunately the trip was not in vain: Kilian and his companions were granted permission from Conon to pursue their evangelistic mission.

On the return from Rome, the original group separated. St. Kilian came back to Würzburg with two companions, the priest Colman (Coloman, Colonat) and the deacon Totnan. The other nine travellers carried out their missionary work in other areas. Kilian took Wurzburg as the base of his activity, which also extended over an ever-increasing area in East Franconia and Thuringia. He converted Duke Gosbert to Christianity, along with a large number of his subjects. The account of the baptism of Gosbert in a large wooden tub has been recorded by ancient sources.

St. Killian Prayer....
God, you called missionaries from Ireland with Saint Killian
to take the message of the gospel to Franconia and Bavaria;
Grant that the church may draw strength from their examples,
and never lack zeal to proclaim your love when the going is difficult:
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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