Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Ulmar, or Wulmar, Abbot


[Abbot of Samer, three miles from Boulogne] He was nobly born at Sylviaco in the territory of Boulogne in Picardy. Renouncing the world in his youth, he entered himself a brother in the abbey of Hautmont in Haynault, where it was his employment to keep the cattle, and to hew the wood for the community. He was distinguished for his eminent spirit of prayer, and being compelled by obedience to receive holy orders, was promoted to the priesthood. He after this obtained leave to live alone in a hermitage near mount Cassel, and afterwards in 688 founded in a wood upon his father’s estate of Sylviaco in the Boulognois, the abbey of Samer, corruptly so called for Saint Ulmar’s, at present of the Congregation of Saint Maur. Saint Ulmar founded a nunnery at Vileria, now Wiere aux bois, a mile from his own monastery, in which he placed his niece Bertana abbess. Ceadwalla, king of the West-Saxons, passing that way in his journey to Rome to receive baptism, conferred on Saint Ulmar a notable largess towards carrying on his foundation. In close retirement in his hermitage near mount Cassel, the saint preserved himself always free from worldly passions by flying from the occasions which chiefly excite them, and by withdrawing from the great scene of earthly business, envy, avarice, and strife. Here shutting out the busy swarm of vain images which beset us in the world, he inured his mind to happy recollection and heavenly contemplation. In this sweet repose he daily advanced in fervour and divine charity till he was called to the joys of his Lord on the 20th of July, 710. He was glorified by miracles, and is named in the Roman and other Martyrologies on the 20th of July. On the 17th of June his relics were conveyed to Boulogne for fear of the plunder of the Normans; and from thence to the abbey of Saint Peter’s at Ghent, where they were burnt by the fury of the Calvinists in the sixteenth century. See his life written soon after his death in Mabillon.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Ulmar, or Wulmar, Abbot”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 14 July 2013. Web. 8 July 2020. <>