Coloman of Stockerau
Saint Coloman of Stockerau
|Died||October 18, 1012|
|Venerated in||Eastern Orthodox Church|
Roman Catholic Church
|Major shrine||Abbey of Melk|
|Attributes||pilgrim monk with a rope in his hand; depicted being hanged on a gibbet; tongs and rod; priest with a book and maniple.|
|Patronage||Austria; Melk; patron of hanged men, horned cattle, and horses; invoked against plague and for husbands by marriageable girls; invoked against hanging; invoked against gout|
Originally known as Colmán (variously rendered Koloman, Kálmán, Colman, and Colomannus), he was an Irish pilgrim en route to the Holy Land and was mistaken for a spy because of his strange appearance. He was tortured and hanged at Stockerau, near Vienna, Austria, on 16 July 1012. Later tradition has it that he was "a son of Máel-Sechnaill (d. 1022), high king of Ireland." (Breen, 2009)
At the time of his death, there were continual skirmishes among Austria, Moravia, and Bohemia. Coloman spoke no German, so he could not give an understandable account of himself. He was hanged alongside several robbers.
According to Aidan Breen, "He was made a saint by the local people, possibly out of remorse for the deed and because of his endurance under torture and the many miracles reported from where his body was buried." (Breen, 2009)
On 13 October 1014, his relics were transferred to the Abbey of Melk by Bishop Megingard at the request of Marquis Saint Henry of Austria. Decades later, they were taken to Hungary. Coleman became the object of a popular cult, and many churches and chapels in Austria, the Electorate of the Palatinate, Hungary, and Bavaria were dedicated to him. He is also venerated in Ireland.
A legend states that Coleman's body remained incorruptible for eighteen months, remaining undisturbed by birds and beasts. The scaffolding itself is said to have taken root and to have blossomed with green branches, one of which is preserved under the high altar of the Franciscan church at Stockerau.
Géza I of Hungary named one of his sons, King Coleman of Hungary, in his honor. In the 13th century, the younger brother of King Bela IV of Hungary was named Coloman of Galicia-Lodomeria in honor of the saint.
Eventually, the relics of Saint Coleman were taken back from the Cathedral of Székesfehérvár to Melk Abbey in Austria, where they are still kept. Many Austrian rulers made modifications to the tomb of this saint, and the actual reliquary was made in the Baroque style.
"Coleman", by Aidan Breen, Dictionary of Irish Biography, page 696, volume two, 2009.