St Kilian

saint kilian 200pxFeastday: July 8th
Patron of sufferers of rheumatism
640 - 689

Kilian was born in Mullagh, County Cavan, Ireland, about 640.  

St Kilian was consecrated Bishop, went to Rome (with eleven other missionary priests and very few possessions) in 686, and received permission from Pope Conon to evangelize Franconia (Baden and Bavaria). He was successful, with two followers - Colman, a priest, and Totnan, a deacon - in his missionary endeavors until he converted Gosbert, Duke of Wurzburg, who had married Geilana, his brother's widow. According to legend, while the newly converted Gosbert was away on a military expedition, his wife Geilana is reputed to have had the three missionaries beheaded when she found that Gosbert was going to leave her after Kilian had told him the marriage was forbidden by the Church.

The martyred Kilian was soon revered and his relics were transferred to the Cathedral in Wurzburg on July 8, 752. It is there that he is greatly honoured by the people. The Cathedral is dedicated in his name. The seminary is called Killianarun and numerous statues of the saint are prominent around the city. The diocese and city celebrate "Kilianfest" in the first week of July with a street carnival, pageants and a solemn procession with the relics of the three martyrs.

St Kilian was the Patron Saint of Paderborn, Germany home of Dr Backhaus.  Consequently, Bendigo's first Church, founded by Henry Backhaus has a patronage to St Kilian. 

St. Kilian's feast-day is July 8th.

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