(with Fortress Marienberg
in the background>
Reading I: Genesis 46:1-7, 28-30
Responsorial: Psalm 37:3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40
Gospel: Matthew 10:16-23
Feast of St Killian or Kilian.
Since I made a mistake yesterday and put up Friday's gospel a day early, I thought I would do Friday's saint being celebrated: St Kilian.
St. Kilian is not really well known in his native Ireland; St. Kilian is celebrated in Germany as one of their great saints...he is the patron saint of the city of Wurtzburg, Germany. He comes from a time when Ireland was the isle of Saints and Scholars.
St Killian Article
According to Irish sources, Kilian was born in Mullagh, Co Cavan, Ireland and is the patron saint of the parish of Tuosist, near Kenmare in County Kerry, where he is believed to have resided before travelling to Germany. A church and holy well are named after him and his feast day, July 8, is traditionally celebrated with a pattern when crowds visit the well for prayers, followed by evening social events.
The name has several variations in spelling (e.g. Chillian, Killian, Cilian, Kilian). In Ireland, the preferred spelling is Cillian; the name appears thus in the Irish liturgical calendar. Saint Kilian's feast day is July 8, and he is usually portrayed, as in his statue at Würzburg, bearing a bishop's crozier and wielding a sword. The Kiliani-Volksfest (two weeks in July) is the main civil and religious festival in the region around Würzburg. He is one of the patron saints for sufferers of rheumatism.
Kilian is still in use as a given name in South Africa, Australia, Belgium, Ireland, the USA and the Franconian portion of Germany.
There are several biographies of him. The oldest texts which refer to him are an 8th century necrology at Würzburg and the notice by Hrabanus Maurus in his martyrology. According to Maurus, Kilian was a native of Ireland, when with eleven companions he went to eastern Franconia and Thuringia. After having preached the Gospel in Würzburg, he succeeded in converting to Christianity the local lord, Duke Gozbert, and much of the population.
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 Würzburg, where Kilian and his colleagues were preaching, and had him beheaded, along with two of his companions, Saint Colmán (also called Colonan or Kolonat) and Saint Totnan. It is difficult to fix the date with precision, as Gozbert and Geilana are only known through these two somewhat imprecise Church records.