- Wendelin of Trier
Saint Wendelin or Wendelin of Trier (b. c. 554; probably d. 617) was a
There is very little definite information about this
saint. His earliest biographies (two in Latinand two in German), did not appear until after 1417. The story as told there is that Wendelin was the son of a Scottish king. After a piously spent youth he secretly left his home on a pilgrimage to Rome. On his way back he settled as a hermit at Westrichin the Diocese of Trier. When a wealthy landowner criticized him for his idle life he entered his service as a herdsman, but later a miracle obliged the landowner to allow him to return to his solitude.
Wendelin then established a company of hermits from which sprang the Benedictine Abbey of Tholey in
Saarland. He was consecrated abbot about 597, according to the later legends, while Tholey was apparently founded as a collegiatebody about 630. It is difficult to say how far the later biographers are trustworthy.
Death and Veneration
Wendelin was buried in his cell, and a chapel was built over the grave. The small town of
Sankt Wendelgrew up nearby. The saint's intercession was powerful in times of pestilence and contagious diseases among cattle. When in 1320 a pestilence was checked through the intercession of the saint, Baldwin, Archbishop of Trierhad the chapel rebuilt. Baldwin's successor, Bohemond II, built the present beautiful Gothic church, dedicated in 1360, to which the saint's relics were transferred. Since 1506 they have rested in a stone sarcophagus.
Wendelin is the patron saint of country people and herdsmen and is still venerated in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Saint Wendelin is not mentioned in the
Roman Martyrology, but his feast is observed in the Diocese of Trier on 22 October.
He is represented in art as a youth, or as a bearded man, with a shepherd's bag and a book in one hand and a shepherd's crook in the other; about him feed lambs, cattle, and swine, while a crown and a shield are placed at his feet.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.