Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Colman of Ireland, Martyr

detail of a fresco of Saint Koloman, Collegiate Church of Klosterneuburg, Lower Austria, date unknown, artist unknown; photographed on 5 February 2014 by BSonne; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

In the beginning of the eleventh century, the neighbouring nations of Austria, Moravia, and Bohemia were engaged against each other in implacable dissensions and wars. Colman, a Scot or Irishman, and according to Cuspinian and other Austrian historians, of blood royal, going on a penitential pilgrimage to Jerusalem, arrived by the Danube from the enemy’s country at Stockheraw, a town six miles above Vienna. The inhabitants persuading themselves that he was a spy, unjustly tortured him various ways, and at length hanged him on a gibbet, on the 13th of October, in 1012. The double testimony of heroic actions of virtue and of miracles is required before any one is enrolled by the church among the saints, as Gregory IX declares in his bull of the canonization of Saint Antony of Padua. Neither miracles suffice, without clear proof of heroic sanctity, nor the latter without the former, says that pope; and the same is proved by the late Benedict XIV. A fervent spirit of compunction and charity, and invincible meekness and patience under exquisite torments and unjust sufferings were an undoubted proof of the sanctity of the servant of God, which was confirmed by the incorruption of his body, and innumerable miracles. Three years after his death his body was translated by the Bishop of Megingard, at the request of Henry, marquis of Austria, and deposited at Mark, the capital of the ancient Marcomans, near Moravia. Saint Colman is honoured in Austria among the tutelar saints of that country, and many churches in that part of Germany bear his name. See his life written soon after his death by Crekenfred, abbot of Mark, published by Canisius; also Dithmar in Chron. and Leopold VI, marquis of Austria, in Chronico de Austriæ dynastis; Aventinus; Raderus, and Colgan.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Colman of Ireland, Martyr”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 20 May 2016. Web. 19 October 2021. <>