Severin of Cologne bigraphy, stories - German bishop and saint

Severin of Cologne : biography

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Saint Severin of Cologne (in Latin, Severinus) was the third known Bishop of Cologne, living in the later 4th century. Little is known of him. He is said in 376 to have founded a monastery in the then Colonia Agrippina in honour of the martyrs Saints Cornelius and Cyprian, from which developed the later Basilica of St. Severin. Severin is notable as a prominent opponent of Arianism.


His bones are today preserved in a gold shrine in the choir of St Severin's Church in Cologne. That seen today is a reconstruction of 1819, as the mediaeval shrine was melted down for the gold in the period of French rule, ca. 1795–98. Its opening in 1999 corroborated the documented transfer of the bones of bishop Wigfried of Cologne (924–953), as it was possible to date the old inner wooden shrine by the latest dendrochronological techniques to the year 948. An ancient cloth, probably Byzantine, was also discovered, with which the wooden box was lined. The saint's feast day is 23 October.

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