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Saint
Saint
Alban (/ˈɔːlbən, ˈæl-/; Latin: Albanus) is venerated as the first-recorded British Christian
Christian
martyr,[1] and he is considered to be the British protomartyr. Along with fellow Saints Julius and Aaron, Alban is one of three named martyrs recorded at an early date from Roman Britain
Roman Britain
("Amphibalus" was the name given much later to the priest he was said to have been protecting). He is traditionally believed to have been beheaded in the Roman city of Verulamium
Verulamium
(modern St Albans) sometime during the 3rd or 4th century, and his cult has been celebrated there since ancient times.

Contents

1 Hagiography 2 Sources 3 Dating controversy 4 Location controversy 5 Disputed historicity 6 Cult

6.1 On the Continent

7 Veneration

7.1 Outside Britain

7.1.1 Australia 7.1.2 Canada 7.1.3 Denmark 7.1.4 United States

8 See also 9 Notes 10 References 11 External links

Hagiography[edit] According to the most elaborate version of the tale found in Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People, Alban lived in Verulamium, sometime during the 3rd or 4th century (see dating controversy below), but some authors, on the basis that Gildas
Gildas
says he crosses the Thames before his martyrdom, place his residence and martyrdom in London.[2] He lived in Roman Britain, but little is known about his religious affiliations, socioeconomic status or citizenship. Sometime in the 3rd or 4th century, Christians began to suffer "cruel persecution."[3] Alban met a Christian
Christian
priest fleeing from "persecutors" and sheltered him in his house for a number of days. The priest (who later came to be called Amphibalus, meaning "cloak" in Latin) prayed and "kept watch" day and night, and Alban was so impressed with the priest's faith and piety that he found himself emulating the priest and soon converted to Christianity. Eventually it came to the ears of an unnamed "impious prince" that Alban was sheltering the priest. The prince gave orders for Roman soldiers to make a strict search of Alban's house. As they came to seize the priest, Alban put on the priest's cloak and clothing and presented himself to the soldiers in place of his guest.[3] Alban was brought before the judge, who just then happened to be standing at the altar, offering sacrifices to "devils" (Bede's reference to pagan gods).[3] When the judge heard that Alban had offered himself up in place of the priest, he became enraged that Alban would shelter a person who "despised and blasphemed the gods,"[3] and as Alban had given himself up in the Christian's place, Alban was sentenced to endure all the punishments that were to be inflicted upon the priest unless he would comply with the pagan rites of their religion. Alban refused, and declared, "I worship and adore the true and living God who created all things." (The words are still used in prayer at St Alban's Abbey). The enraged judge ordered Alban scourged, thinking that a whipping would shake the constancy of his heart, but Alban bore these torments patiently and joyfully.[3] When the judge realized that the tortures would not shake his faith, he ordered for Alban to be beheaded.[3]

Stained glass in St Albans
St Albans
Cathedral
Cathedral
showing death of Saint
Saint
Alban

Alban was led to execution, and he presently came to a fast-flowing river that could not be crossed (believed to be the River Ver). There was a bridge, but a mob of curious townspeople who wished to watch the execution had so clogged the bridge that the execution party could not cross. Filled with an ardent desire to arrive quickly at martyrdom, Alban raised his eyes to heaven, and the river dried up, allowing Alban and his captors to cross over on dry land. The astonished executioner cast down his sword and fell at Alban's feet, moved by divine inspiration and praying that he might either suffer with Alban or be executed for him.[3][4] The other executioners hesitated to pick up his sword, and meanwhile, Alban and they went about 500 paces to a gently sloping hill, completely covered with all kinds of wild flowers, and overlooking a beautiful plain ( Bede
Bede
observes that it was a fittingly beautiful place to be enriched and sanctified by a martyr's blood).[3]

The martyrdom of St Alban, from a 13th-century manuscript, now in the Trinity College Library, Dublin. Note the executioner's eyes falling out of his head.

When Alban reached the summit of the hill, he began to thirst and prayed God would give him water. A spring immediately sprang up at his feet. It was there that his head was struck off, as well as that of the first Roman soldier who was miraculously converted and refused to execute him. However, immediately after delivering the fatal stroke, the eyes of the second executioner popped out of his head and dropped to the ground along with Alban's head so that this second executioner could not rejoice over Alban's death.[3] In later legends, Alban's head rolled downhill after his execution, and a well sprang up where it stopped.[5] Upon hearing of the miracles, the astonished judge ordered further persecutions to cease, and he began to honour the saint's death.[3] St Albans
St Albans
Cathedral
Cathedral
now stands near the believed site of his execution, and a well is at the bottom of the hill, Holywell Hill.[5] Sources[edit] The earliest mention of Alban's martyrdom is believed to be in Victricius's De Laude Sanctorum (The Praise of Saints), c. 396. Victricius
Victricius
had just returned from settling an unnamed dispute among the bishops of Britain.[6] He does not mention Alban by name, but includes an unnamed martyr, who, "in the hands of the executioners told rivers to draw back, lest he should be delayed in his haste."[6] The account closely resembles Alban's martyrdom, and many historians have concluded that this may be a reference to Alban, making it the earliest surviving reference to a British saint. There can be no certainty, however, that the martyr referred to is actually Saint Alban.[7] The foundational text concerning Alban is the Passio Albani, or the Passion of Alban, which relates the tale of Alban's martyrdom, and Germanus of Auxerre's subsequent visit to the site of Alban's execution. This Passio survives in six manuscripts, with three different recensions, referred to as T, P, and E,[8] the oldest of which dates to the eighth century.[9] The T manuscript is located in Turin, the P manuscript is found in Paris and the E manuscripts (of which there are 4) are at The British Library
The British Library
and Gray's Inn, both in London, and Autun (France) and Einsiedeln (Switzerland). The Passio is very likely the source text of the more well-known accounts found in Gildas
Gildas
and Bede. Another early text to mention Alban is the Vita Germani, or Life of St Germanus of Auxerre, written about 480 by Constantius of Lyon.[10] The text only very briefly mentions Alban but is an important text concerning his nascent cult. According to the Vita, Germanus visited Alban's grave shortly after defeating the Pelagian heresy in Britain and petitioned Alban to give thanks to God on Germanus'a behalf. They once again call on him during their voyage home, and Alban is credited with providing smooth sailing for their voyage back to the continent.

Martyrdom of Amphibalus
Amphibalus
from the Trinity College Life of St Alban.

Framed tinted drawing of Heraclius taking down the head of Saint Alban, from the Trinity College Life.

Gildas
Gildas
gives a short account of Alban's martyrdom in his De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae (c. 570),[2] and Bede
Bede
gives a much fuller account in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People
Ecclesiastical History of the English People
(c. 730).[3] Gildas
Gildas
calls Alban a martyr of Verulamium
Verulamium
but says he crossed the river Thames prior to his execution, during the persecution of Diocletian. Bede's account is much more detailed but sets the events during the reign of Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
and in the town of Verulamium, where a shrine devoted to Alban had been established by at least 429 AD, when Germanus of Auxerre
Germanus of Auxerre
is said to have visited the cult centre during his tour of Britain. Alban is also briefly mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
(c. 900),[11] and by Geoffrey of Monmouth in Historia Regum Britanniae
Historia Regum Britanniae
(c. 1136).[12] It is also possible that his martyrdom is referenced in the Acta Martyrum. Another early source for Saint
Saint
Alban is the Martyrologium Hieronymianum, or the so-called 'Martyrology of Saint
Saint
Jerome' in which the entry In Britannia Albani martyris probably occurred originally under 22 June. In fact, in the extant versions, Alban has acquired numerous companions because of confusion/conflation with other entries. The martyrology is preserved in a 9th-century copy but was probably composed in something close to its present form around 600, with the surviving recension showing some signs of being based on a recension compiled at Auxerre (significantly, the hometown of Saint Germanus) [13] For Thornhill (see above), the date given for Alban's martyrdom is striking for its closeness to the summer equinox (on which some variants of the Hieronymianum actually place the saint's day). Being the day when the sun is at its brightest in midsummer, that might suggest that there is indeed some significance in the literal meaning of the name Albanus (or at least the root albho- on which it is based) as 'white' or 'bright'. Matthew Paris, the celebrated medieval English chronicler and most famous of St Alban's Abbey's monks, produced a beautifully-illustrated Life of St Alban in the 13th century, which is in French verse adapted from a Latin Life of St Alban by William of St Albans, c. 1178. It is now at the Trinity College Library in Dublin. Dating controversy[edit] The date of Alban's execution has never been firmly established. Original sources and modern historians indicate a range of dates between 209 and 313. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
lists the year 283,[14] but Bede
Bede
places it in 305, "when the cruel Emperors first published their edicts against the Christians." In other words, it was sometime after the publication of the edicts by Eastern Roman Emperor
Eastern Roman Emperor
Diocletian
Diocletian
in 303 and before the proclamation of toleration in the Edict of Milan
Edict of Milan
by co-ruling Roman Emperors
Roman Emperors
Constantine I and Licinius, in 313. Bede
Bede
was probably following Gildas.

Icon of Saint
Saint
Alban

English historian John Morris suggests that Alban's martyrdom took place during the persecutions of Emperor Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
in 209.[15] Morris bases his claims on the Turin
Turin
version of the Passio Albani, unknown to Bede, which states, "Alban received a fugitive cleric and put on his garment and his cloak (habitu et caracalla) that he was wearing and delivered himself up to be killed instead of the priest… and was delivered immediately to the evil Caesar Severus." According to Morris St Gildas
Gildas
knew the source but mistranslated the name "Severus" as an adjective, wrongly identifying the emperor as Diocletian. Bede
Bede
accepted the identification as fact and dates St Alban's martyrdom to this later period. As Morris points out, Diocletian
Diocletian
reigned only in the East and would not have been involved in British affairs in 304; Emperor Severus, however, was in Britain from 208 to 211. Morris thus dates Alban's death to 209.[16] However, the mention of Severus in the Turin
Turin
version has been shown to be an interpolation into an original text, which mentioned only a iudex or 'judge'.[17] Subsequent scholars ( William Hugh Clifford Frend and Charles Thomas for example) have argued that such a single, localised British martyrdom in 209 would have been unusual, and they have suggested the period of 251–259 (under the persecutors Decius
Decius
or Valerian) are more likely. Location controversy[edit] While it is certain that the cult devoted to Saint
Saint
Alban was established in Verulamium, and his martyrdom was also alleged to have taken place there, the sources are unclear about where he was actually executed. Neither Victricius's De Laude Sanctorum nor the Passio Albani mentions where he was martyred other than that it was in Britain. In the Vita Germani, Germanus visits Alban's tomb and touches droplets of his blood still on the ground, but the text does not name the location of the tomb. It is not until Gildas
Gildas
that Alban was connected with Verulamium.[citation needed] Disputed historicity[edit] Little is known about the real Alban (estimated to have died c. 209 – 305 AD, depending on interpretations), as there are no contemporaneous accounts of his martyrdom and the major sources on his life were written hundreds of years after his death, containing wondrous embellishments, which may or may not refer to real events. Saint
Saint
Alban was long regarded as a genuine martyr saint, the protomartyr of Britain, and for much of the 20th century controversy centred on the date of his martyrdom (see further 'Dating Controversy', above). More recently, however, some researchers have taken a more skeptical view about his historicity. In the view of Robin Lane Fox, not only St Alban's date disputable but so is his very existence.[18] In an article published in 2000 [19] Philip Thornhill argued that the cult of St Alban was one of many early Christian
Christian
cults derived from pagan traditions, in this case 're-invented' to serve a contemporary political purpose. Thornhill proposed that Albans was in some sense a personification of Albion
Albion
(the oldest recorded name for Britain) and that his cult was used by Verulamium
Verulamium
(the modern St Albans) in its efforts to unify and establish its dominance over the old Roman province of Britannia. He identified the name Elafius, a British official in the Life of Saint
Saint
Germanus (see below), as a 'mis-hearing' of Albios or Albius as another name for Albanus, in a corrupt oral version of the story of Germanus's visit to Britain. He suggested that the cult of the traditionally 'pre-Patrican' Saint Ailbe of Emly
Ailbe of Emly
in Munster was the immediate origin of the cult of Alban/Albios and that later persons in hagiographical legends were much devolved and mutated derivatives of a fragmented cult of Alban/Albios. This theory received little support or even notice, but in 2008 the historian Ian Wood proposed (independently) that he was an 'invention' of Saint
Saint
Germanus of Auxerre.[20] Germanus visited Britain in 429, as is known from the nearly-contemporary mention by Prosper of Aquitaine. His chronicle, in the entry for the year 429 (published in 433), states:

Agricola, a Pelagian, the son of the Pelagian bishop Severianus, corrupted the British churches by the insinuation of his doctrine. But at the persuasion of the deacon Palladius, Pope Celestine sent Germanus, bishop of Auxerre, as his representative, and having rejected the heretics, directed the British to the catholic faith.[21]

Meanwhile, it was recorded in the Vita Germani
Vita Germani
('Life of Saint Germanus of Auxerre'), written probably sometime between 450 and 485[22] by Constantius of Lyons, that he, together with his fellow bishop Lupus, having stamped out the heresy of 'Pelagianism' in Britain, visited the tomb of Saint
Saint
Alban:

When this damnable heresy had thus been stamped out, its authors refuted, and the minds of all re-established in the true faith, the bishops visited the shrine of the blessed martyr Alban, to give thanks to God through him. ( Vita Germani
Vita Germani
12) [23]

The martyr Alban is also mentioned, one more time, in the context of Germanus's return journey, by sea:

Their own merits and the intercession of Alban the Martyr secured for them a calm voyage; and a good ship brought them back in peace to their expectant people. ( Vita Germani
Vita Germani
13)

The Vita Germani
Vita Germani
was long regarded as the earliest source for the martyr Alban, but recent research by Richard Sharpe[24] has suggested the earliest version of the Passio Albani[25] (the official story of the saint's martyrdom) may be even earlier (see below and Sources). Wood's argument was based partly on the idea that the name Albanus is suggestive of Albion
Albion
as the oldest name for Britain, but for him, the name Alban suggested simply 'the man from Albion' rather than an actual 'personification' of the island and its people. It is, in any case, a part of what suggested to Wood that "it is Germanus who gives Alban a name". That, in turn, encouraged him in his conclusion: "The story of the saint's martyrdom seems to have been revealed to, or invented by, Germanus in the context of his anti-Pelagian mission" and in a later article [26] "Alban may, therefore, have been 'discovered' by the bishop of Auxerre". The argument has been accepted by, for instance, Michael Garcia [27] but disputed by, for instance, Professor Nick Higham, who, in an article written in 2014 [28] noted that since Germanus brought relics of continental saints with him, which, so the Passio relates, he deposits in the tomb of Saint
Saint
Alban[clarification needed] while removing some bloodstained earth to take back to Gaul, he must have known from the start that he would make a visit to the cult-centre of Saint
Saint
Alban, as part of his campaign against the Pelagian heresy. On this basis he states: "This would make good sense in terms of his mission, claiming Britain's most famous cult for Catholicism". He therefore argues against the conclusion of Woods and Garcia that the martyr Alban was unknown before being invented by Germanus. Key to the argument is a passage in the T version of the Passio that Sharpe has convincingly argued represents an 'interpolation' to the more original E text. All extant versions of the Passio mention (after describing the story of the saint's marttyrdom) Germanus's visit to the tomb of Saint
Saint
Alban. The E version, followed essentially by the T version, states (in the translation of Sharpe):

When Germanus came to Alban's basilica, carrying with him relics of all the apostles and of several martyrs...

but interpolated at this point in only the T version is

...Alban had revealed himself to Germanus on his journey, and now, so Germanus himself relates, St Alban met him on the stormy seas. But while he had been keeping vigil at night in his basilica, in the dawn when he had given in to sleep St. Alban appeared to him and communicated to him by revelation to him what had happened at the time of his martyrdom and he made this public in order that the events should be preserved in writing on placards....

after which the T version essentially follows the E version again:

...he ordered the graves to be opened for him to place precious gifts in the same place, in order that the lodging of a single grave might hold membra of saints brought together from various regions whom heaven had received as equal in merit. Once these were honorably disposed and united, with violent devotion and a pious boldness of faith he took from the place where the blood of the martyr had flowed a lump of earth in which it was visible that the ground was red with blood preserved from the martyr's death while the persecutor was pale. When all these things were revealed and made known a huge crowd of people was brought to god with the help of our Lord Jesus Christ to whom is honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

It is possible to deduce from the interpolated passage that the name of the martyr was unknown before being revealed to Germanus, either in a vision he had of the martyr during his sea journey or in the dream he had in the basilica. It is also possible to deduce that it was simply the acta, or 'story of the martyrdom', of an already well known figure that was revealed to Germanus. The acta were then written down in tituli (translated above as 'placards'): that is possibly engraved in the walls of a church with illustrations. This might have been either in a church in Auxerre (Germanus's home town in Gaul) as argued by Sharpe and Wood, or in Britain. If the latter is the case, by being on public display, they might have served to give a definitive version of the saint's martyrdom, which could not be contradicted or reinterpreted (for instance by the addition of 'Pelagian' themes) [29] In any case, it has been argued by Sharpe and Wood that these acta written down in tituli were actually the original, very simple and short, first version of the Passio Albani that has come down in the 'E' and later versions [30] That is very possible but, of course, quite unprovable, but it seems clear that the Passio originates with the circle of Germanus at Auxerre. As time went on, more and more details and wondrous events were added to the account its most detailed version in the 8th century, in Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The location of the tomb of Saint
Saint
Alban that Germanus visited is most often thought to have been Verulamium, now St Albans. That is on the basis of what is in fact the earliest mention of the martyr Alban in an indigenous British source, in the De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae probably written in the second quarter of the fifth century,[31] by the British author Gildas. As part of his brief historical account he describes the persecution of Christians in Britain,which he identifies as part of the persecution of Diocletian, adding at the end of a passage about "their graves and the places where they suffered": "I refer to Saint
Saint
Alban of Verulam (Verolamiensem), Aaron and Iulius, citizens of Caerleon (Legionum Urbis) and others of both sexes, who in different places, displayed the highest spirit in the battle-line of Christ". (De Excidio 10)[32] The Verulamium
Verulamium
location is supported by the fact that the topography of the Passio can be broadly, if not quite exactly,[33] matched to that of Verulamium, and Bede
Bede
describes an important cult of Saint Alban there, by the early eighth century at least.[34] Some doubt, however, is encouraged by the fact that in his account of Albans's martyrdom Gildas
Gildas
(De Excidio 11) describes the martyr as crossing the Thames to his place of execution (at Verulamium/St Alban's there is only the much smaller River Ver), which some have taken as an indication that the actual martyrdom (or the more original version of the story about it) was located in Londinium.

Stained glass window depicting Saint
Saint
Alban, Britain's protomartyr, and Saint
Saint
George, Patron Saint
Saint
of England.

Cult[edit] The hilltop located outside Verulamium
Verulamium
eventually became the centre of the cult devoted to Alban. It has been claimed (but doubted by some) that a memoria over the execution point and holding the remains of St Alban may have existed at the site from c. 300, possibly earlier. There was certainly a cult centre of St Alban at Verulamium
Verulamium
by the time of Bede
Bede
c. 731, and the mention in Gildas
Gildas
strongly suggests that it was already in existence by the early sixth century. However, when and how the cult of Saint
Saint
Alban originated is the subject of some debate: there is little textual or archaeological evidence that a cult of Saint
Saint
Alban existed before Germanus of Auxerre
Germanus of Auxerre
visited the site in 429. In fact, one version of the Passio Albani says that Germanus did not know the name or story of Saint
Saint
Alban before visiting the site, and Alban appeared to him in a dream to reveal his identity and martyrdom story.[8] That can be interpreted as suggesting (see above: The Disputed Historicity) that the cult of Saint
Saint
Alban did not exist before the arrival of Germanus. Germanus is said to have taken away dust from the site, which was still marked with Alban's blood.[10] The cult and veneration of saints was still in its infancy at this time, and it has been suggested that Germanus had a hand in creating and promoting the cult of Saint
Saint
Alban.

Shrine
Shrine
of Saint
Saint
Alban in St Albans
St Albans
Cathedral

Gildas
Gildas
writing probably in the second quarter of the fifth century calls Saint
Saint
Alban Verolamiensis, 'of Verulamium' in a passage that refers to the "graves and places where they suffered" of the early British martyrs. This suggests there was at least a shrine but quite possibly a church to him at Verulamium
Verulamium
by then. Certainly, Bede
Bede
(c. 720) mentions a church there, dedicated to him. Offa of Mercia established a Benedictine
Benedictine
Abbey and monastery at the site c. 793, but the abbey was probably sacked and destroyed by the Danes c. 890. It was rebuilt by the Normans, with construction beginning in 1077. By the High Middle Ages, St Albans
St Albans
ranked as the premier abbey in England. The abbey church now serves as the cathedral of the Diocese of St Albans, established in 1877. In a chapel east of the crossing and high altar are remains of the 14th-century marble shrine of St Alban.[4] In June 2002 a scapula (shoulder blade), believed to be a relic of St Alban, was presented to St Albans
St Albans
Cathedral
Cathedral
and placed inside the saint's restored 13th-century shrine. The bone was given by the Church of St Pantaleon in Cologne, Germany [11]. St Pantaleon's, like St Albans
St Albans
Cathedral
Cathedral
a former Benedictine
Benedictine
abbey church that had a shrine dedicated to St Alban, has possessed remains believed to be those of St Alban since the 10th century. It is entirely possible that further relics were acquired by the church in the 16th century at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries
Dissolution of the Monasteries
in England, when many such relics were smuggled abroad to prevent their destruction. St Albans
St Albans
Abbey was dissolved in 1539. The largest relic of St Alban in England is the thigh of the protomartyr preserved at St Michael's Benedictine
Benedictine
Abbey, Farnborough, Hampshire, which was removed from the St Pantaleon's reliquary in the 1950s. On the Continent[edit] There has also been an extensive cult of Saint
Saint
Alban on the Continent from an early date such as in Mainz, Cologne
Cologne
and Basel
Basel
on the Rhine as well as a number of other localities in Switzerland and Italy and a notable concentration in the French Alpine regions and the Rhone Valley.[35] Sometimes, the ' Saint
Saint
Alban' concerned is regarded as a separate figure, other times, he is alternatively called Albinus (and often identified with 6th c. bishop, Saint
Saint
Albinus of Angers), and at other times he is identified with the British martyr. Philip Thornhill [36] noted a correlation of Alban dedications with place names in Alb- (very common in mountainous areas, especially in ancient Liguria and also found in river names). St. Pantaleon's Church, Cologne
St. Pantaleon's Church, Cologne
holds relics said to be those of the British martyr Alban (as noted above). In fact, although identified with the British martyr, he was locally known as Albinus. His relics were said to have been brought from Rome by Empress Theophano and placed in St Pantaleon’s church in about 984:[37] the relics were miraculously saved from destruction in an accident on the way at a place that a later version of 1502, was identified as Silenen, Switzerland.[38] The original record was in a 12th-century manuscript that alleged that the relics were actually those of the British martyr, having been delivered to Ravenna by Germanus himself and taken from there to Rome.[39] Another church at Cologne
Cologne
is known to have been dedicated to the British Alban from the 12th century.[40] The Saint
Saint
Alban of Basel
Basel
is recorded in the Berne rescension of the Martyrologium Hieronymianum
Martyrologium Hieronymianum
of circa 800: “Basilea civitate sancti Albani martyris”, where he would appear to be an independent local figure, being celebrated on 24 August but later identified with the Saint
Saint
Alban of Mainz.[41] St Alban of Mainz
Alban of Mainz
is recorded from 756.[42] He was regarded as a separate figure in sources from Raban Maur's early 9thcentury martyrology, including a 10th-century Life by Gozwin of 1060-2[43] However, Hippolyte Delehaye suggested that he very probably represents, in origin, a localised version of the British martyr since his feast date was recorded as June 21 in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum (just a day before that of the British one, who actually appears on the 21st and 22nd in early recensions).[44] The story in Raban Maur associates Alban of Mainz
Alban of Mainz
with a martyred bishop, Aureus of Mainz
Aureus of Mainz
and two other martyrs, Ursus and Theonestus [45] the latter of whom is said to have originated on the Greek island of Naxos, together with Alban. Thornhill[46] elaborates a theory that suggests that Theonestus (likely confused with a 7th-century Bishop Theonestus of Phillipi and a Bishop Theomastus associated with Mainz) represents "some kind of distorted mirror image of the name, 'Dionysus'", as appropriate to the leading ancient cult-figure associated with Naxos.[47] A Saint
Saint
Alban of Burano
Burano
(near Altino, Italy), meanwhile was associated with one Domenicus in a legendary tale reminiscent of one told about Dionysus.[48] Veneration[edit] Alban is listed in the Church of England
Church of England
calendar for 22 June and he continues to be venerated in the Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox Communions. In 2006 some Church of England
Church of England
clergy suggested that Alban should replace St George
St George
as the patron saint of England.[49] The Fellowship of Saint
Saint
Alban and Saint
Saint
Sergius is also named in part after Alban. Every year, during the weekend closest to his feast day, St Albans Cathedral
Cathedral
hosts the "Alban Pilgrimage", with huge puppets re-enacting the events of Alban's martyrdom around the city of St Albans.[50] Besides his abbey, churches in England dedicated to Saint
Saint
Alban include the former St Alban, Wood Street
St Alban, Wood Street
in the City of London, St Alban's Church at Holborn
Holborn
in central London, ones in the London suburbs of Teddington, Croydon
Croydon
and Ilford, one in Westcliff-on-Sea
Westcliff-on-Sea
in Essex, another in Withernwick
Withernwick
in the East Riding of Yorkshire, one in Swaythling, Southampton, one in Northampton, one in a Norwich suburb, one in Bristol, one in Tattenhall, Cheshire
Cheshire
and another in Macclesfield, Cheshire. There is also St Alban's West Leigh near Havant
Havant
in Hampshire, and the St Alban the Martyr Parish Church of Highgate, Birmingham
Highgate, Birmingham
(including Ark St Alban's Academy). Finally, a church is dedicated to Saint
Saint
Alban at Earsdon
Earsdon
Village, Northumberland, which is the nearest one to Bede's Holy Island. There is also a St Albans parish and beautiful church in Cardiff, in a small suburb called ‘splott’ Outside Britain[edit] Churches and festivals dedicated to Saint
Saint
Alban outside Britain include the following:

The Anglican St Alban's Church in Copenhagen, Denmark

Australia[edit]

Cathedral
Cathedral
Church of St Alban the Martyr in Griffith, New South Wales[51] Anglican Church of St Alban in Muswellbrook, New South Wales, Australia Anglican Church of St Alban the Martyr in Kalangadoo, South Australia Multicultural Bible Ministry (MBM) St Albans
St Albans
Anglican Church in Rooty Hill, New South Wales Anglican Church of St Alban the Martyr in St Albans, New South Wales Anglican Church of St Alban in Marradong, Western Australia St Alban’s Anglican Church Exeter, New South Wales

Canada[edit]

St Alban's Anglican Church in Ottawa St. Alban's Church, the Anglican Parish of New Bandon, Diocese of Fredericton

Denmark[edit] St Alban's Church in Copenhagen, Denmark, which is the city's only Anglican church. It was built to the design of Sir Arthur Blomfield and consecrated in 1887.[52] The connection with Denmark goes back to the Middle Ages where a church dedicated to Saint
Saint
Alban was built in Odense. Supposedly, the relics of the saint had been brought here, maybe as early as the ninth century. It was in that church that King Canute IV of Denmark
Canute IV of Denmark
( Saint
Saint
Canute) was murdered in 1086.[53] The original church no longer exists, but the Roman Catholic parish church of Odense, St Alban's Church, was consecrated in 1908.

St Alban's, Tokyo

United States[edit]

St Alban's Parish, Washington DC.

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The parish church of St Alban's Episcopal Church, the first Free Church[discuss] in Washington, D.C., was erected on Mount Saint
Saint
Alban in 1854 using a bequest from a young woman, Phoebe Nourse, who earned the money sewing. St Alban's went on to found five mission churches in Washington, four of which still maintain active congregations of their own.[54] Washington National Cathedral, a cathedral of the Episcopal Church in Washington D.C., is located next to the parish church, which preceded the laying of the Cathedral's cornerstone by 53 years. The St Albans School for Boys, which is affiliated with and was established in 1909 soon after construction of the Cathedral
Cathedral
began, is also named for the saint. In 1972, a chapel named after St. Alban was erected and later consecrated in the Sabino Catchment area of Tucson, Arizona. The chapel and the congregation later became St. Alban's Church and Parish. It was in this church that the second Anglican female priest, and first female priest in Arizona, was ordained. In 1928, St. Alban's Chapel, an Episcopalian church, was established on the campus of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.[55] See also[edit]

The Cathedral
Cathedral
and Abbey Church of St Alban St Albans, Hertfordshire Saint
Saint
Alban's Cross St. Alban's Church St. Alban's Episcopal Church Protomartyr

Notes[edit]

^ Thurston, Herbert. "St. Alban." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 19 Feb. 2013 ^ a b Wikisource:The Ruin of Britain ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Bede. "Ecclesiastical History of the English People". Internet History Sourcebook. Fordham University. Retrieved 3 November 2013.  ^ a b "Who was Saint
Saint
Alban?", Saint
Saint
Alban's Episcopal Church, Wilmington, DE Archived 2011-07-28 at the Wayback Machine. ^ a b "Medieval St Albans". Retrieved 3 November 2013.  ^ a b Clark, Gillian (1999). " Victricius
Victricius
of Rouen: Praising the Saints". Journal of Early Christian
Christian
Studies. 7 (3): 383. Retrieved 22 September 2014.  ^ p. 4 in Wood 2009, op. cit.; p.47 in Garcia op.cit. ^ a b Meyer, Wilhelm (1898). "Die Legende des h. Albanus". Bibliotheca Hagiographica Latina Antiquae et Media Aetatis (in German). Brussels: Société des Bollandistes, ed. 2 vols. I Subsidia Hagiographica.  ^ Garcia, Michael. " Saint
Saint
Alban and the Cult of Saints in Late Antique Britain" ^ a b Butler, Rev. Alban. "St Germanus, Bishop of Auxerre, Confessor". www.bartelby.com. Retrieved 4 September 2014.  ^ Translation by Rev. James Ingram (1912). The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. London: Everyman Press. pp. Part 1: A.D. 1–748. Retrieved 3 September 2014.  ^ Thorpe, Geoffrey of Monmouth; translated with an introduction by Lewis (1984). The history of the Kings of Britain (Repr. ed.). Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. p. 131. ISBN 9780140441703.  ^ Delehaye, Hippolyte (1931) (reconstruction of late 6th c. Auxerre ‘revised version’) Commentarius in Martyrologium Hieronymianum, ASS (Acta Sanctorum of the Bollandists) Novembris ii, 2; (1931b) “In Brittania dans le Martyrologe Hieronymien” in 'Proceedings of the British Academy' 17; Duchesne (1894) (Bern, Epternach and other rescensions of Mart.H.) ASS, Novembris ii, 1; p. 122 in Sharpe 2002, op.cit. ^ Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, Project Gutenburg  ^ Morris, John (1968). "The Date of Saint
Saint
Alban". Hertfordshire Archaeology. 1.  ^ "St Alban the Martyr", Orthodoxy's Western Heritage . ^ Sharpe 2001, op. cit.; pp. 349-50 in Levison 1941, op. cit; p.13 in Wood, Ian (1984) “The End of Roman Britain: Continental Evidence and Parallels” in M. Lapidge and Dumville, ed., ' Gildas
Gildas
New Approaches', Woodbridge: Boydell Press. ^ Lane Fox, Robin (1986). Pagans and Christians in the Mediterranean World from the Second Century AD to the Conversion of Constantine. London, UK: Penguin Books. p. 273. ISBN 978-0-14-102295-6.  ^ Thornhill, Philip (2000) “The Sub-Roman Cult of Saint
Saint
Alban” (“St. Alban and the End of Roman Britain
Roman Britain
Part 1”) in 'The Mankind Quarterly' 41, pp. 3-42. [1].(Revised Version [2]) ^ Wood, Ian (2009). "Germanus, Alban and Auxerre". Bulletin du centre d’études médiévales d’Auxerre (BUCEMA). 13. Retrieved 19 November 2014.  ^ Prosper of Aquitaine, Prosperi Tironis Epitoma Chronicon, in Monumenta Germaniae Historica (MGH), Chronica Minora vol 1, 1892, Mommsen, Theodore, ed., Berlin: Weidemann pp. 385-485; Migne, Patrologia Latina vol.51 [3]; English trans. in "From Roman to Merovingian Gaul: A Reader" ed. & trans. A. C Murray (Ontario, 2003) pp. 62–76 ^ pp.61-2, in Garcia, Michael Moises, " Saint
Saint
Alban and the Cult of Saints in Late Antique Britain", Doctoral Thesis, 2010 The University of Leeds: Institute for Medieval Studies [4]; note 165 on p. 116 in Richard Sharpe. “Martyrs and Local Saints in Late Antique Britain”, in "Local Saints and Local Churches in the Early Medieval West", ed. by Alan Thacker and Richard Sharpe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 75-154. ^ Krusch, B and Levison, W 1920 Vita Germani
Vita Germani
ed, in MGH, Scriptores Rerum Merovingicarum VII, pp. 225-283; trans. in Hoare, F. R. (1965) The Western Fathers. New York: Harper Torchbooks ^ Sharpe, Richard (2001). "The Late Antique Passion of St Alban" in M. Henig and P. Lindley ed., "Alban and St Albans" (Leeds) ^ Meyer, Wilhelm (1898). Die Legende des h. Albanus. Bibliotheca Hagiographica Latina Antiquae et Media Aetatis (in German). Brussels: Société des Bollandistes, ed. 2 vols. I Subsidia Hagiographica.]; Meyer, Wilhelm, 1904, “Passio Albani” ( Turin
Turin
and Paris Texts, pp. 35-47) ed., in Die Legende des h. Albanus, des Protomartyr
Protomartyr
Angliae, in Texten vor Beda. ^ Wood, Ian (2010) “Levison and St Alban", pp. 171–85 in "Wilhelm Levison (1876–1947). Ein Jüdisches Forscherleben ZwischenWissenschaft licher Anerkennung und Politischen Exil", ed. M. Becher and Y. Hen, Siegburg. ^ Garcia, op.cit. ^ Higham, Nicholas J (2014) “Constantius, Germanus and fifth century Britain” in 'Early Medieval Europe' 22 (2), pp. 113-37; cf Thornhill, Revised Version, op. cit. [5] ^ p.10 in Thornhill, Revised Version, op.cit ^ Sharpe, Richard (2001). "The Late Antique Passion of St Alban". Alban and St Albans
St Albans
(Leeds).  ^ pp. 215-18 in Charles-Edwards, T.M (2013) "Wales and the Britons 350-1064", Oxford University Press ^ Wikisource "The Ruin of Britain"[6]; Winterbottom, Michael (1978) Gildas, the Ruin of Britain, text & trans., London/Chichester: Phillimore. ^ p. 347 in Levison, Willhelm “St Alban and St Albans” in 'Antiquity' 15, pp. 337-59; p. 73 in Garcia op. cit; pp. 175-6 in Wood 2010, op. cit. ^ Bede
Bede
HE I,7. Ecclesiastical History of the English People. Internet History Sourcebook. Fordham University. Retrieved 3 November 2013 ^ Lowe, W.R.L. (1914-15) pp. 58-67 (especially 60, 62 with maps) in 'Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of London', 2nd Ser., vol 27. ^ Thornhill, Philip "The Continental Cult of Saint
Saint
Alban" in 'The Mankind Quarterly', Vol XLI, 3 (Spring 2001) [7], Revised Version (Part III) [8] ^ p. 211 in Baker, E. P. (1938) “The Cult of St Alban at Cologne”, in 'The Archaeological Journal' 94. ^ Baker op.cit. pp. 212, 250 ^ Baker op.cit. pp. 211-13 ^ Baker op. cit. p. 338 ^ Baker op.cit. p. 254; G.Allmang, 1366 in "Dictionnaire d’Histoire et de Geographie Ecclesiastique", ed A . Baudrillart, Paris 1912; G.B. Villiger, 655 in Bibliotheca Sanctorum, Istituto Giovanni XXIII, Pontificale Universate Lateranense ^ Levison 1941, op.cit. p. 338 ^ 'Raban Maur’ in Migne, Patrologia Latina 110, saec IX, 1154. See also Attwater, Donald and Thurston, H.(1956) "Butler’s Lives of the Saints", 4 vols, 2nd ed., London: Burnes and Oates: II, 608; Acta Sanctorum of the Bollandists: June V, 75-83; Allmang op.cit.1365. ^ Levison 1941 op.cit. p. 338; Delehaye 1931b, op.cit. pp.328, 330 ^ 10th century Passio (ASS = Acta Sanctorum, 347-8) second, 11th century Passio (ASS 345-6). See also Antonio Niere, Bibliotheca Sanctorum, op.cit. pp. 354-8; ASS Oct XIII 335-48 ^ Thornhill 2001, op.cit [9], Revised Version [10] ^ Farnell, Lewis Richard, V,135 in "The Cults of the Greek States", (1977) New York: Caratzsos Bros ^ ASS June V, 80-3; Daniele, Bibliotheca Sanctorum, op.cit. I , 721) Pausanius, "Description of Greece", III, 24.3 ^ Doughty, Steve (2 July 2006), Will George be slayed as England's patron saint?, Daily Mail  ^ " St Albans
St Albans
cathedral website". Archived from the original on 2013-07-05.  ^ Anglican Cathedral
Cathedral
Church of St Alban the Martyr, Diocese of Riverina official website ^ "Online Sightseeing – Copenhagen". Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Portal. Retrieved 2010-02-22.  ^ Abrams, Lesley (1996), "The Anglo-Saxons and the Christianization of Scandinavia", in Lapidge, Michael; Godden, Malcolm; Keynes, Simon, Anglo-Saxon England, 24, Cambridge University Press, pp. 240–241, ISBN 978-0-521-55845-7, retrieved 2 March 2010  ^ R. Kline, Church at the Crossroads: A History of St. Alban's Parish, Washington, D.C., 1854–2004, Posterity Press, 2005 ^ http://www.stalban.org

References[edit]

Niblett, Rosalind (2001). Verulamium: The Roman City of St Albans. Tempus Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-7524-1915-3. 

External links[edit]

Bede, Ecclesiastical History Book i.vii: the story of Saint
Saint
Alban The Story of Alban on the Cathedral
Cathedral
and Abbey Church of St Alban's website The Latin Text of Bede's chapter on Alban at www.earlychurchtexts.com – also links to online dictionaries An English translation of Bede's chapter on Alban at www.earlychurchtexts.com

v t e

Saints of Anglo-Saxon England

British / Welsh

Alban of St Albans Aldatus of Oxford Amphibalus
Amphibalus
of St Albans Arilda of Oldbury Barloc
Barloc
of Norbury Brannoc of Braunton Branwalator of Milton Credan of Bodmin Congar of Congresbury Dachuna of Bodmin Decuman
Decuman
of Watchet Elfin of Warrington Ivo of Ramsey Judoc
Judoc
of Winchester Juthwara of Sherbourne Melorius of Amesbury Nectan of Hartland Neot
Neot
of St Neots Patrick of Glastonbury Rumon
Rumon
of Tavistock Samson of Dol Sativola
Sativola
of Exeter Urith
Urith
of Chittlehampton

East Anglian

Æthelberht of East Anglia Æthelburh of Faremoutiers Æthelflæd of Ramsey Æthelthryth
Æthelthryth
of Ely Æthelwine of Lindsey Athwulf of Thorney Blitha of Martham Botwulf of Thorney Cissa of Crowland Cuthbald of Peterborough Eadmund of East Anglia Eadnoth of Ramsey Guthlac of Crowland Herefrith of Thorney Hiurmine of Blythburgh Huna of Thorney Pega
Pega
of Peakirk Regenhere of Northampton Seaxburh of Ely Tancred of Thorney Torthred of Thorney Tova of Thorney Walstan
Walstan
of Bawburgh Wihtburh
Wihtburh
of Ely Wulfric of Holme

East Saxon

Æthelburh of Barking Hildelith
Hildelith
of Barking Osgyth Sæbbi of London

Frisian, Frankish and Old Saxon

Balthild of Romsey Bertha of Kent Felix of Dommoc Grimbald of St Bertin Monegunda of Watton Odwulf of Evesham Wulfram of Grantham

Irish and Scottish

Aidan of Lindisfarne Boisil
Boisil
of Melrose Echa of Crayke Ultan the Scribe Indract of Glastonbury Maildub of Malmesbury

Kentish

Æbbe of Thanet (Domne Eafe) Æthelberht of Kent Æthelburh of Kent Æthelred of Kent Albinus of Canterbury Berhtwald of Canterbury Deusdedit of Canterbury Edburga of Minster-in-Thanet Eanswith
Eanswith
of Folkestone Eormengyth of Thanet Mildrith
Mildrith
of Thanet Nothhelm of Canterbury Sigeburh of Thanet

Mercian

Ælfnoth of Stowe Ælfthryth of Crowland Æthelberht of Bedford Æthelmod of Leominster Æthelred of Mercia Æthelwynn of Sodbury Aldwyn of Coln Beonna of Breedon Beorhthelm of Stafford Coenwulf of Mercia Cotta of Breedon Credan of Evesham Cyneburh of Castor Cyneburh of Gloucester Cynehelm of Winchcombe Cyneswith of Peterborough Eadburh of Bicester Eadburh of Pershore Eadburh of Southwell Eadgyth of Aylesbury Eadweard of Maugersbury Ealdgyth of Stortford Earconwald
Earconwald
of London Egwin of Evesham Freomund of Mercia Frithuric
Frithuric
of Breedon Frithuswith
Frithuswith
of Oxford Frithuwold of Chertsey Hæmma of Leominster Merefin Mildburh
Mildburh
of Wenlock Mildgyth Mildrith
Mildrith
of Thanet Milred of Worcester Oda of Canterbury Oswald of Worcester Osburh of Coventry Rumwold of Buckingham Tibba of Ryhall Werburgh
Werburgh
of Chester Wærstan Wigstan
Wigstan
of Repton Wulfhild of Barking

Northumbrian

Acca of Hexham Æbbe "the Elder" of Coldingham Æbbe "the Younger" of Coldingham Ælfflæd of Whitby Ælfwald of Northumbria Æthelburh of Hackness Æthelgyth of Coldingham Æthelsige of Ripon Æthelwold of Farne Æthelwold of Lindisfarne Alchhild of Middleham Alchmund of Hexham Alkmund of Derby Balthere of Tyningham Beda of Jarrow Bega of Copeland Benedict Biscop Bercthun
Bercthun
of Beverley Billfrith of Lindisfarne Bosa of York Botwine of Ripon Ceadda of Lichfield Cedd
Cedd
of Lichfield Ceolfrith
Ceolfrith
of Monkwearmouth Ceolwulf of Northumbria Cuthbert
Cuthbert
of Durham Dryhthelm of Melrose Eadberht of Lindisfarne Eadfrith of Leominster Eadfrith of Lindisfarne Eadwine of Northumbria Ealdberht of Ripon Eanmund Eardwulf of Northumbria Eata of Hexham Ecgberht of Ripon Eoda Eosterwine of Monkwearmouth Hilda of Whitby Hyglac Iwig of Wilton John of Beverley Osana of Howden Osthryth of Bardney Oswald of Northumbria Oswine of Northumbria Sicgred of Ripon Sigfrith of Monkwearmouth Tatberht
Tatberht
of Ripon Wihtberht
Wihtberht
of Ripon Wilfrith of Hexham Wilfrith II Wilgils
Wilgils
of Ripon

Roman

Anselm of Canterbury Augustine of Canterbury Firmin of North Crawley Birinus
Birinus
of Dorchester Blaise Florentius of Peterborough Hadrian of Canterbury Honorius of Canterbury Justus
Justus
of Canterbury Laurence of Canterbury Mellitus
Mellitus
of Canterbury Paulinus of York Theodore of Canterbury

South Saxon

Cuthflæd
Cuthflæd
of Lyminster Cuthmann of Steyning Leofwynn
Leofwynn
of Bishopstone

West Saxon

Æbbe of Abingdon Ælfgar of Selwood Ælfgifu of Exeter Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury Ælfheah of Canterbury Ælfheah of Winchester Æthelflæd of Romsey Æthelgar of Canterbury Æthelnoth of Canterbury Æthelwine of Athelney Æthelwold of Winchester Aldhelm
Aldhelm
of Sherborne Benignus of Glastonbury Beocca of Chertsey Beorhthelm of Shaftesbury Beornstan of Winchester Beornwald
Beornwald
of Bampton Centwine of Wessex Cuthburh
Cuthburh
of Wimborn Cwenburh
Cwenburh
of Wimborne Dunstan
Dunstan
of Canterbury Eadburh of Winchester Eadgar of England Eadgyth of Polesworth Eadgyth of Wilton Eadweard the Confessor Eadweard the Martyr Eadwold of Cerne Earmund of Stoke Fleming Edor
Edor
of Chertsey Evorhilda Frithestan of Winchester Hædde of Winchester Humbert of Stokenham Hwita of Whitchurch Canonicorum Mærwynn
Mærwynn
of Romsey Margaret of Dunfermline Swithhun of Winchester Wulfsige of Sherborne Wulfthryth of Wilton

Unclear origin

Rumbold of Mechelen

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 54939196 LCCN: n80056

.