Catholic Answers

Search Articles


Navigation

Search Scans
Scans by volume
Random Article
Login - advanced access

Collections

1,001 Saints
List of Popes
Art Gallery
Map Room
RSS Feeds RSS

Curricula

Apologetics
Art
Catechetics
Christology
Church Hierarchy
Church History - to 1517 A.D.
Education
Ethics
Hagiography - saints
Homiletics - sermons
Mariology - on Mary
Patrology
Philosophy
Religious Orders
Sacred Scripture
Science

Front Matter — Vol I

Title Page
Copyright & Imprimatur
To the Knights of Columbus
Preface
Contributors
Tables of Abbreviations

Site Status

Articles:11,552
Images:42,348
Links:183,872
Updated:  Aug 12, 2013
prev: Diocese of Alba Pompeia Diocese of Alba Pompeia Albanenses next: Albanenses

Alban, Saint

First martyr of Britain, suffered c. 304

High Resolution Scan ———————————

Login or register to access high resolution scans and other advanced features.

Registration is Free!

Errata* for Alban, Saint:
———————————

Login or register to access the errata and other advanced features.

Registration is Free!


————
* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.


Alban, Saint, first martyr of Britain, suffered c. 304. The commonly received account of the martyrdom of St. Alban meets us as early as the pages of Bede's "Ecclesiastical History" (Bk. I, chs. vii and xviii). According to this, St. Alban was a pagan living at Verulamium (now the town of St. Albans in Hertfordshire), when a persecution of the Christians broke out, and a certain cleric flying for his life took refuge in Alban's house. Alban sheltered him, and after some days, moved by his example, himself received baptism. Later on, when the governor's emissaries came to search the house, Alban disguised himself in the cloak of his guest and gave himself up in his place. He was dragged before the judge, scourged, and, when he would not deny his faith, condemned to death. On the way to the place of execution Alban arrested the waters of a river so that they crossed dry-shod, and he further caused a fountain of water to flow on the summit of the hill on which he was beheaded. His executioner was converted, and the man who replaced him, after striking the fatal blow, was punished with blindness. A later development of the legend informs us that the cleric's name was Amphibalus, and that he, with some companions, was stoned to death a few days afterwards at Redbourn, four miles from St. Albans. What germ of truth may underlie these legends it is difficult to decide. The first authority to mention St. Alban is Constantius, in his Life of St. Germanus of Auxerre, written about 480. But the further details there given about the opening of St. Alban's tomb and the taking out of relics are later interpolations, as has recently been discovered (see Levison in the "Neues Archiv", 1903, p. 148). Still the whole legend as known to Bede was probably in existence in the first half of the sixth century (W. Meyer, "Legende des h. Albanus", p. 21), and was used by Gildas before 547. It is also probable that the name Amphibalus is derived from some version of the legend in which the cleric's cloak is called an amphibalus; for Geoffrey of Monmouth, the earliest witness to the name Amphibalus, makes precisely the same mistake in another passage, converting the garment called amphibalus into the name of a saint. (See Ussher, Works, V, p. 181, and VI, p. 58; and Revue Celtique, 1890, p. 349.) From what has been said, it is certain that St. Alban has been continuously venerated in England since the fifth century. Moreover, his name was known about the year 580 to Venantius Fortunatus, in Southern Gaul, who commemorates him in the line: Albanum egregium fecunda Britannia profert. (Lo! fruitful Britain vaunts great Alban's name). ("Carmina", VIII, iii, 155). His feast is still kept as of old, on June 22, and it is celebrated throughout England as a greater double. That of St. Amphibalus is not now observed, but it seems formerly to have been attached to June 25. In some later developments of the legend St. Alban appears as a soldier who had visited Rome, and his story was also confused with that of another St. Alban, or Albinus, martyred at Mainz.

HERBERT THURSTON


discuss this article | send to a friend

Discussion on 'Alban, Saint'











prev: Diocese of Alba Pompeia Diocese of Alba Pompeia Albanenses next: Albanenses

Report translation problem

*Description: Copy and paste the phrase with the problem or describe how the trascription can be fixed.
  * denotes required field
Severity:

Featured

Art Gallery
Art Gallery

Catholic Q & A


Popular Subjects
Top 20 Questions

Ask A Faith Question

Quotable Catholics RSS

"You may make the hearing of a blessed Mass treason, or the saying of an Ave Maria treason...but I have committed no treason, although, indeed, I suffer the punishment due to treason."
-- John Bodey, Venerable, English martyr; on the scaffold, upon hearing he was being executed for "treason".

Donations

Latest OCE Discussion



Your usage constitutes agreement with User License :: Permissions :: Copyright © 2014, Catholic Answers.
Site last updated Aug 12, 2013