Alban of Mainz

Saint Alban

Alban of Mainz
Born 4th Century
or Albania[1]
Died c. 406
Hanum, Mainz
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Feast 21 June
Attributes Depicted holding his head in his hands (beheaded)
Patronage hernia, epilepsy, gravel, kidney stones[1]

Saint Alban of Mainz (b. unknown, Greece or Albania; d. c. 406 in Mainz) was a priest, missionary, and martyr.

Rabanus Maurus wrote in his Martyrology about Alban, who was sent to Gallia as a missionary by Ambrose of Milan. In Mainz, Alban helped bishop Aureus of Mainz to regain his bishopric. But in 406, during the Vandals crossing of the Rhine, Aureus was slain and Alban was beheaded while praying. His cult became associated with that of Theonistus, who may have been a bishop of Philippi but who was confused with Thaumastus, a 5th-century bishop of Mainz.[2] According to one scholar, "Albanus of Mentz, martyred at Mentz no one knows when, according to Baeda under Diocletian also, according to Sigebert (in Chron.), who says he had been driven from Philippi with Theonistus its bishop, in 425."[3] This scholar goes on to write that Rabanus Maurus "goes so far abroad as to call [Alban] an African bishop flying from Hunneric..."[3]

The legend says Alban carried his head on his hands to the place where he wanted to be buried.

A Church was built at his gravesite. It became the centre of a large Benedictine monastery, which was renovated by Charlemagne in 806. The monastery was devastated in 1552 and never renewed.

Sometimes St Alban is confused with another St Alban, who was martyred at Verulamium (now St Albans, Hertfordshire, England).

Alban is represented in art as carrying his head between his hands, having been beheaded.


  1. 1 2 Patron Saints Index: Saint Alban of Mainz
  2. Bruno W. Häuptli (2003). "Theonest (Theonistus, Thonistus, Onistus) von Altino". In Bautz, Traugott. Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German). 22. Nordhausen: Bautz. cols. 1344–1346. ISBN 3-88309-133-2.
  3. 1 2 William George Smith; Henry Wace, A Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects and Doctrines (J. Murray, 1877), 70.

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