Sub-Saharan Africa, 27 March, 2023 / 11:15 am (ACI Africa).
On March 27 the Catholic Church remembers the monk and bishop Saint Rupert, whose missionary labors built up the Church in two of its historic strongholds, Austria and Bavaria.
During his lifetime, the “Apostle of Bavaria and Austria” was an energetic founder of churches and monasteries, and a remarkably successful evangelist of the regions – which include the homeland of the Bavarian native Pope Benedict XVI.
Little is known about Rupert's early life, which is thought to have begun around 660 in the territory of Gaul in modern-day France. There is some indication that he came from the Merovignian royal line, though he embraced a life of prayer, fasting, asceticism and charity toward the poor.
This course of life led to his consecration as the Bishop of Worms in present-day Germany. Although Rupert was known as a wise and devout bishop, he eventually met with rejection from the largely pagan population, who beat him savagely and forced him to leave the city.
After this painful rejection, Rupert made a pilgrimage to Rome. Two years after his expulsion from Worms, his prayers were answered by means of a message from Duke Theodo of Bavaria, who knew of his reputation as a holy man and a sound teacher of the faith.