Suitbert of Kaiserswerdt
Swidberth of Kaiserwerdt
Suitberts-Insel, now Kaiserswerth
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
Eastern Orthodox Church
Suitbert studied in Ireland, at Rathmelsigi, Connacht, along with Ecgberht of Ripon. The latter, filled with zeal for the conversion of the Germans, had sent Wihtberht, to evangelize the Frisians, but owing to the opposition of the pagan ruler Rathbod, Wihtberht was unsuccessful and returned to England. Ecgberht then sent Willibrord and his twelve companions, among whom was Suitbert. 
They landed near the mouth of the Rhine and journeyed to Utrecht, which became their headquarters. The new missionaries worked with great success under the protection of Pepin of Heristal, who, having recently conquered a portion of Frisia, compelled Redbad, King of the Frisians to cease harassing the Christians. Suitbert laboured chiefly in North Brabant, Gelderland, and Cleves.
After some years he went back to England, and in 693 was consecrated in Mercia as a missionary bishop by Wilfrid of York. He returned to Frisia and fixed his see at Wijk bij Duurstede on a branch of the Rhine. A little later, entrusting his flock of converts to Willibrord, he proceeded north of the Rhine and the Lippe, among the Bructeri, or Boructuari, in the district of Berg, Westphalia. This mission bore great fruit at first, but was eventually a failure owing to the inroads of the pagan Saxons; when the latter had conquered the territory.
About the year 700 Suitbert withdrew to Werth, a small island that formed an important crossing point of the Rhine, six miles from Düsseldorf. It had been granted to him by Pepin of Heristal. There Suitbert built a Benedictine abbey and ended his days in peace, 1 March 713.
His relics were rediscovered in 1626 at Kaiserwerth and are still venerated there. He is considered a patron saint of Germany. His feast day falls on 1 March.
- MacErlean, Andrew. "St. Suitbert." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 26 April 2019 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.