Ulric of Augsburg

Ulric of Augsburg in the 10th century, occupied a noteworthy position among his contemporaries both as a prince and a prelate. He was born about A.D. 890 at Augsburg, educated at St. Gall, and ordained to his bishopric Dec. 28, 923. In accordance with the custom of his time, he followed with his retainers the standards of the emperors Henry I and Otto I. He was influential in securing an armistice between Henry and his revolted son duke Liutulf in 954, and in: the following year he won great fame by a successful defense of Augsburg against the Magyars. He was equally zealous in the erection and adorning of churches and chapels, and in the restoration of cities, castles, dwellings, and lands. His bounty was long the only support of impoverished priests and retainers. In the administration of his diocese he was accustomed to make journeys of visitation to dispense justice, confer absolution, and examine the official conduct and private life of his clergy. He greatly increased the number of festivals and the pomp with which they were observed, and he was eminently zealous in the collection of relics. He was, in brief, a thorough exponent of the piety of his age, and also a fine specimen of the militant churchman. Towards the close of his life he became more thoroughly an ascetic than before, and assumed the Benedictine habit. He died July 4, 973. Soon after his decease, it was reported that miracles were wrought upon persons who visited his grave, and his memory and remains were accordingly highly venerated in Augsburg and vicinity. Provost Gerhard, who had been Ulric's constant companion in the closing years of the bishop's life, wrote a Life, in which many of these wonders are mentioned; and Ulric's successor in the bishopric, Liutulf, persuaded pope John XV to canonize their author. The bull to this-effect was issued in February, 993, and is noteworthy as the first clearly authenticated document which marks the transition from a saint-worship which grew naturally out of the excellences of character in Christians, to a saint-worship established by decree of the pope.

Ulric's name is mentioned in connection with the authorship of several writings, but without satisfactory proof. The first is entitled Nicolao Domino et Patri S. Rom. Eccl. Provisori V. [some MSS. have G.] solo Nomine Episc. Anoem ut Filius, Tinorem ut Servus, in Martene et Durand, Ampliss. Collectio, p. 449-454. It was first printed by Flacius in 1550, and 'afterwards incorporated with his Catalogus Testium Veritatis. The second is a Sermo Synodalis Paroch. Presbyt. in Synod. Enuntiandus, on which comp. Vogel, Ratherius von Verona (Jena, 1854), 1, 343, note. The last is an Epist. de Vita Notingi Episc. Constantiensis. The best source on Ulric is the biography translated by Gerhard (983-993), and published by Waitz in Monum. Scriptores, 4:377 sq. The latter also gives a list of later and dependent lives. Comp., in addition, Mabillon, Acta SS. Ord. S. Bened. Saec. V; and Braun, Gesch. d. Bischkfe v. Augsburg (Augsb. 1813), pt. 1. See Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s.v.

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