Saint Servatius

Servatius of Tongeren (* probably in Armenia, † May 13 384 in Maastricht ), short Servatius, is one of three ice saints, venerated particularly on May 13.

In popular belief, Servatius invoked in foot ailment, frost damage, rheumatism and rat plagues.

In its form intermingle the current state of research two historical figures:

Firstly, Gregory of Tours mentions in his ( late 6th century written ) Historia francorum a Servatius episcopus Tungrorum (ie bishop of Tongeren ), who died around 450, shortly before the invasion of the Huns in Europe. This Servatius was probably actually the first bishop in today Tongeren, Belgium. In the legend of the Holy Gregor this Servatius traveled to Rome, where he was the invasion of the Huns was predicted in a vision of Peter. Servatius went back, warned the citizens of Tongeren and moved the episcopal see to Maastricht, where he died shortly afterwards.

Until recently it was with this Servatius another carrier the same or similar name mixed: The historian Sulpicius Severus mentions a Servatius or Sarbatios from Gaul, the 343 at the Synod of Sardica, now Sofia in Bulgaria, and 359 at another in Rimini participated. So he lived a hundred years before the mentioned in Gregory Servatius, at a time could be of Christianity in the region around Tongeren no speech. This Servatius distinguished himself at the synods as a staunch opponent of Arianism.


In the Middle Ages, these two shapes then blend into a single holy figure. This ( fabricated) St. Servatius so was already 340 bishop of Tongeren, Belgium today, later moved the episcopal see to Maastricht, where he died on 13 May 384; some claim that he had been killed with a wooden shoe, others that he had died peacefully in Maastricht, where he had just hinbegeben for this purpose.

His reverence he owes any case, the invasion of the Huns from 450, he is said to have predicted.

The gap between the years 384 ( his alleged death year) and 450 ( invasion of the Huns ) has long been so declared that it would probably not have been the Huns under Attila of 450, but other roving groups. But the riddle is solved better by the fact you're going, as usual today, two historical figures from Servatius.

Servatius - most likely later - is buried in the cathedral in Maastricht ( Sint- Servaaskerk ). Maastricht was therefore one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in the Middle Ages. Devotion to the Holy Servatius peaked in the mid-12th century. Here are several important texts mentioned: The going back to earlier versions of Latin Vita sancti Sarvatii survives in several manuscripts from the 12th and 13th centuries. It applies along with the traditional in the 12th century Gesta sancti Servatii as a template for written by Heinrich von Veldeke Middle Dutch Verslegende Sente Servas. In the latter then the Upper German, written in dialect of Bavarian Verslegende Servatius an anonymous goes back, in addition, also used the Gesta. It is considered the first example of literary influence of the Netherlands in Upper Germany. The author pursued a " propagandist " intention ( de Boor ): He tried a hitherto unknown in Bavaria Holy introduce there. He put a focus on the invasion of the Huns and the conversion of Attila.