medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Heribert was educated first at Worms and then at the monastery of Gorze.  After a brief stint back in Worms he entered imperial service.  In 995 he was ordained priest.  In 996 Heribert accompanied Otto III to Italy for the latter's coronations as king of Italy and as emperor.  In 998 he was made Otto's chancellor for Germany, an office that in the following year was combined with that of chancellor for Italy.  He was again in Italy when in the same year he was elected archbishop of Köln; in the year after that (1000) he was present in Aachen for Otto's opening of Charlemagne's tomb.  In 1001 Heribert returned to Italy with Otto; he was with Otto when the young emperor died in the following January and it was he who then brought Otto's body back to Germany.  Leaving the chancery, he founded the abbey of Deutz, across the Rhine from Köln as the latter was then (since 1888 Deutz has been a _Stadtteil_ of  Köln).  Heribert accompanied Henry II to Rome in 1004 but spent most of his remaining time in his diocese, where he was especially remembered for his charity to the poor.

Heribert died in 1021 and was laid to rest in the newly consecrated (1020) abbey church in Deutz.  His cult was close to immediate and in time the abbey came to bear his name.  He has a brief Vita (BHL 3827-3828) and a separate Miracula (BHL 3829) by Lambert of Deutz (mid-eleventh century) and an expanded Vita et Miracula (BHL 3830) by the theologian and abbot Rupert of Deutz (d. 1129).  Translated within the church in 1147 in a form of local canonization, his remains were enshrined there not long afterward in an ornate reliquary that survives today in the neo-romanesque church of Neu Sankt Heribert in Köln-Deutz.

Some views of Heribert's shrine (ca. 1150-1160), seen in differing kinds of light:
In these views Heribert is portrayed at far left (on one of the shrine's short ends):
Heribert enthroned (on the aforementioned short end):
The enthroned BVM and Christ Child (on the other short end):
The large roundels on the shrine's "roof" show Heribert in scenes from his Via and Miracula.  Some examples:

Two views (the first is courtesy of Genevra Kornbluth) of a later ninth-century ivory liturgical comb from the abbey of Sankt Heribert in Deutz and now in Köln's Museum Schnütgen:
Said to have originated in Metz, this object is called the Comb of St. Heribert.  It is about a century older than Heribert himself and was formerly in the possession of the abbey that he founded and in which he long reposed.

John Dillon
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