Saint Vicelinus
Eckersberg vicelin 1812.jpg
Vicelinus distributes food to the needy. Oil painting by Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, 1812
Apostle of Holstein and Bishop of Oldenburg
Born 1086, Hemeln, Lower Saxony, Germany
Died 12 December 1154, Neumunster, Lorraine, France
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Major shrine Abbey of Neumünster, Bordesholm, Germany
Feast 12 December
Attributes Church resting on his left arm

Saint Vicelinus (also Vicelin, German: Vizelin; 1086 – December 12, 1154) was a German bishop of Oldenburg who was considered the apostle of Holstein.

Orphaned at an early age, Vicelinus received his primary education at Hemeln, his birthplace. He left secretly for Paderborn, where he enjoyed the home and instructions of Hartmann, and soon surpassed his companions and assisted in the management of the cathedral school.

Vicelinus was called to Bremen to act as teacher and principal of the school, and was offered a canonry by Archbishop Frederick of the Archbishopric of Hamburg-Bremen. In 1122 he may have gone to Laon to complete his studies. On his return he was ordained priest by St. Norbert of Xanten. Archbishop Adalben sent him among the Polabian Slavs, and in the fall of 1126 Henry, Prince of the Obotrites, gave him a church in Lübeck. At the death of Henry (22 March 1127) Vicelinus returned to Bremen, and was appointed pastor at Wippenthorp. This gave him an opportunity to work among the Wagrians and neighbouring Obotrites.

Vicelinus's preaching gathered crowds of eager listeners, and many priests aided him in founding the monastery of Neumünster, according to the Rule of St. Augustine, which was liberally endowed by the archbishop. Wars among the tribes in 1137 caused the missionaries to abandon their labours for two years. Vicelinus sent two priests to Lübeck, but with little success. At his suggestion King Lothair intended to build a fortress and monastery at Segeberg, but death prevented him.

Some years later Vicelinus established a house at Hogersdorf. In 1149 he was made Bishop of Oldenburg, where he did much for the spiritual and temporal welfare of his diocese. In 1152 he was struck by paralysis and lingered amid much suffering for two years before dying in Neumünster. His body was transferred to Bordesholm in 1332, and buried before the main altar. In 1874 the small Catholic parish at Hameln had his picture engraved on a new bell. He is usually represented with a church resting on his left arm; his feast is celebrated on 12 December.

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