Wiro of Roermond

  (Redirected from Wera (bishop))

Wiro of Roermond, also Wiro or Wera of Utrecht (and possibly also the same as Vira of Northumbria; d. c. 700) is a Christian saint of the 8th century. His feast day is May 8.

Saint Wiro: statue in Sint Odilienberg
Wiro as a missionary bishop: stained glass window in the Basilica of Saints Wiro, Plechelm and Otger, Sint Odilienberg

LifeEdit

Wiro was a native of Anglo-Saxon England, probably of Northumberland. He seems to have been associated with Saint Willibrord, and to have been appointed the second bishop of Utrecht in about 739–741.

He was a missionary and preached in the region of the Maas and the Rhine, where his legend associates him with the priest Plechelm and the deacon Otger. Later he founded St. Peter's Abbey on land given to him by Pippin II in the present Sint Odilienberg near Roermond in the Netherlands with Otger. Wiro is buried there.

It is not clear to what extent his vita is historical. It seems clear that the monastery was founded towards the end of the 7th century.

He may be identical with the missionary bishop Vira from Northumbria, mentioned by Alcuin, among others.

The Basilica of Saints Wiro, Plechelm and Otger at Sint Odilienberg is dedicated to Wiro and his companions.

VenerationEdit

 
Reliquary shrine of Wiro, Plechelm and Otger in St. Odilienberg

Veneration of Wiro and his two companions began early in Roermond. The monastery he founded was transferred to Roermond, in 1361, accompanied by his relics, which were lost during the Reformation. They were re-discovered later in the 16th century, and a feast day was celebrated for some years to commemorate the rediscovery. In 1881 the original grave was found in the former abbey, and most of the bones were returned to it.

Wiro's feast day is 8 May, but in Roermond 11 May. Since the Middle Ages his skull has been in Utrecht, where he was the patron saint of the bishopric. Pilgrimages are still made to his grave in Roermond.

SourcesEdit

  • Butler's Lives of the Saints. Collegeville, 1996 p. 44
  • Andreas Merkt (2004). "Utrecht, Wera von". In Bautz, Traugott (ed.). Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German). 23. Nordhausen: Bautz. cols. 1417–1418. ISBN 3-88309-155-3.

External linksEdit