A Garner of Saints – Saint Sebald

detail of a statue of Saint Sebald, date and artist unknown; west facade of the church of Saint Sebaldus, Nuremberg, Germany; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

The son of a king of Denmark who resigned all his earthly dignities and assuming the habit of a pilgrim went away into a wood where he lived in great holiness. And it happened that Willibald, his brother Wunibald and Saint Denis came together to the wood, and meeting Sebald they told him that they hungered, for they had nothing to eat. Sebald comforted them saying, that God who had fed the Five Thousand would not permit them to starve, and he went away from them a stone’s throw, and prayed that God would care for them. And there came an angel from heaven bringing a white loaf. Hiding the loaf under his mantle Sebald went to his visitors, and digging his staff in the ground told them to eat, and when they said that they had nothing, he produced the bread, and they thanked God and sat down to eat. Sebald also filled his wine vat for his guests. One day while Sebald was preaching a heretic came up and said that his teaching was vain and false. But Sebald prayed to God to justify him, and immediately the earth opened and swallowed up the man. And the heretic cried to the man of God to save him, promising to believe everything that a Christian should. Then Sebald released him from the earth, and all who were present believed on Christ. Once while Sebald was on his travels he came to Regensburg. Now at that time there was no bridge over the Danube, but the saint laid his cloak upon the water and crossed the stream upon it. And all those who saw him marvelled, saying that he was in very deed a holy man. After that he proceeded to Nuremberg and rested in a wood. And it being about Christmas time it was very cold, so that the saint entered a waggoner’s house and asked him to make a fire. But the man refused saying that he had no wood, and he asked the good wife to pray her husband to allow a fire to be made, but he would not. Then he told the woman to bring him some icicles from outside, and when she had fetched them, he prayed to God, and made a good fire with the fragments of ice, so that when the man and his wife saw this they praised God, and the man asked the saint’s pardon for his churlishness and was forgiven. And Sebald sent the man into the town to buy fish but the lord of the town had prohibited the buying of fish until the inmates of the castle had been served, and the man was taken by the lord’s servants and his eyes were put out. And he retumed home and related what had passed. Then Sebald made him go back to the place of his punishment, and taking up the eyes replaced them in their sockets and the man saw and praised God, and went into the market and bought fish, relating the marvels that had taken place. And after a while Sebald fell sick unto death, and he ordered that his body should be placed on a car drawn by wild oxen, and “buried wherever they should take it. And they did so, and the oxen took the body to Nuremberg to the place where it now lies, and there they buried him. 19th August.

Attributes

  • Dressed as a pilgrim, holds in his hand a church with two towers.

MLA Citation

  • Allen Banks Hinds, M.A. “Saint Sebald”. A Garner of Saints, 1900. CatholicSaints.Info. 26 April 2017. Web. 19 August 2017. <>