St. Coloman of Stockerau (of Melk), Martyr
(Colman, Koloman)

13 October

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Died in Stockerau, Austria, on October 18, 1012. Saint Coloman, an Irish or Scottish monk of royal lineage who began a penitential pilgrimage to Jerusalem and was stopped at Stockerau, about six miles from Vienna. (Montague says that there is no evidence that Colomon was a missionary or a priest, but simply a pilgrim.) At that time there were continual squirmishes between Austria, Moravia, and Bohemia. So the stranger, who spoke no German, was accused of being a spy and, after various tortures, hanged to death between two thieves.

For 18 months Coloman's body remained on the gibbet, uncorrupted and unmolested by the birds and beasts--a miracle. The scaffolding itself was said to have taken root and sent forth green branches. Because of the many miracles that were wrought by his incorrupt body, a popular veneration arose.

Marquis Henry of Austria (later Emperor Henry), intrigued by the devotion to Coloman, ordered an investigation into the history of the cultus. Three years after Coloman's death, the investigation led Henry to ask Bishop Megingard to translate Coloman's relics to the tomb he had built for them in the imposing Abbey of Melk (then called Mark, the capital of the ancient Marcomans near Moravia) on the Danube River in western Austria.

In art, Saint Colman is a pilgrim monk with a rope in his hand. At times he may be shown (1) hanged on a gibbet; (2) with tongs and rod; and (3) as a priest with a book and maniple. He is venerated in Melk and Ireland. Colman is the patron of hanged men [sic!] horses, and Austria (Coulson, D'Arcy). He is invoked against plague (Roeder) and for husbands by marriageable girls (D'Arcy).

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