Saints of the Day – Conrad of Constance

detail of a statue of Saint Conrad of Constance, date and artist unknown; entrace of the minster in Constance, Germany; photographed on 14 January 2012 by joergens.mi; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

Died 975; canonized in 1123 (1823 per Attwater 2). Of the famous Guelph family and son of Count Henry of Altdorf, he was educated at the cathedral school of Constance, Switzerland, and was ordained. He was made provost of the cathedral and in 934 was elected bishop of Constance. He gave his share of his inheritance to the Church and to the poor and built and renovated many churches in his see.

Three times he made the pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and in an age when most prelates were continually involved in secular politics, he succeeded in attending exclusively to ecclesiastical interests during the 42 years of his episcopacy. Nevertheless, he accompanied Emperor Otto I to Italy in 962 (Attwater 2, Benedictines, Coulson, Delaney).

Saint Conrad is pictured as a bishop holding a chalice with a spider above or in it (Roeder). This depiction relates to the story that a spider once dropped into the chalice as he celebrated Mass. Although it was believed then that all spiders were deadly poisonous, Conrad nevertheless swallowed the Blood of Christ, out of respect (Coulson). Sometimes images of Saint Conrad contain (1) a serpent and chalice (not to be confused with Saint John); (2) asperges; or exorcising (Roeder).

MLA Citation

  • Katherine I Rabenstein. Saints of the Day, 1998. CatholicSaints.Info. 19 August 2020. Web. 25 November 2020. <>