Engelbert Saint

Engelbert Saint, archbishop of Cologne, was a son of count Engelbert I of Berg-Gelderi, and was born in 1185. When he was twenty-two years old the diocese of Munster was offered to him, but he declined it on the ground of youth and inexperience. In 1215 he was elected archbishop of Cologne. With great energy he reorganized the electorate, which, under the administration of his predecessors, had become quite disordered. He extinguished its debt, recovered those portions of its territory which had been lost, and acquired new ones. When the emperor Friedrich II was called to Italy, Engelbert was appointed head of the regency to which was intrusted the administration of the empire. As archbishop, Engelbert made the utmost endeavors to reform the corrupt habits of the clergy, and to repel the interference of the nobility in ecclesiastical affairs. The rigor with which he carried through his principles made him many enemies, and on November 7, 1225, he was surprised and assassinated at Gevelsberg by his nephew, count Friedrich von Isenburg. The murderer was captured and broken on the wheel; the bishops of Munster and Osnabruck, who were charged with complicity, were excommunicated; and Engelbert, on account of his zeal for enlarging the power of the Church, was enrolled in the number of saints. A life of Engelbert, by Caesar of Heisterbach (q.v.), was, in 1630, edited by Gelenius, with many learned remarks and additions (Vindex libertatis ecclesiae et martyr St. Engelbertus, Coloni; 1630); see also Ficker, Engelbert der Heilige, Cologne, 1853; Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen- Lex. 3:590. SEE COLOGNE. (A.J.S.)

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