The son of Count Hucbald of Suabia, St. Ulric was born at Augsburg in 890 and was educated in the Abbey of St. Gall from the age of seven on. At sixteen, he was given into the care of Bishop Adalbero of Augsburg who made him his chamberlain and later ordained him. The young man was wise in the ways of God and carried out his duties with utmost reverence and great prudence. He was zealous at prayer, diligent in study, and magnanimous toward the poor. Aware of the fragile character of chastity, he shunned every hint of danger, saying: “Take away the fuel, and you take away the fire.”
In 923, King Henry the Fowler made St. Ulric Bishop of Augsburg. Since the Magyars had recently pillaged Germany, plundered the city, and destroyed the cathedral, the saintly man’s first task was to rise the people’s spirit. He built a small temporary church and provided for the instruction, relief, and comfort his flock—working long hours and praying unceasingly. He made a visitation of his diocese annually and held synods of the clergy semi-annually.
In 955, the Magyars once again attacked Augsburg. This time, however, they were stopped and hurled back; and the people attributed this triumph to the prayers of their holy Bishop who had continued in prayer for his flock, like Moses on the mountain. In his later years, St. Ulric retired to St. Gall and died there in 973. Miracles recorded at his tomb influenced Pope John XV to canonize him in 933—the first solemn canonization by a Pope on record.
PRAYER: God, You willed that St. Ulric, Your Bishop, should shine forth with pastoral solicitude and compassion for the poor. Help us who celebrate his merits to imitate his charity. Amen.