Sturmi (Sturm, Sturmius) of Fulda, OSB, Abbot
Died 779; canonized 1139. Born of Christian parents in Bavaria, he was placed in the custody of Saint Boniface, who had him educated by Saint Wigbert at Fritzlar Abbey. Sturmi was ordained, engaged in missionary work in Westphalia for three years, and then became a hermit at Hersfeld. Forced to leave by raiding Saxons, he founded Fulda Monastery in 744 and was appointed its first abbot by Boniface. He studied the Benedictine rule at Monte Cassino, was granted complete autonomy for Fulda by Pope Saint Zachary, and under Sturmi's direction it became a great center of monastic learning and spirituality. He later became involved in a drawn-out dispute with Bishop Saint Lull of Mainz, who claimed jurisdiction over the monastery, and in 763 Pepin banished Sturmi from Fulda. The monks rebelled at his banishment and persuaded Pepin to recall him after two years of exile. He was unsuccessful in attempts to convert the Saxons due in no small measure to the conquests and harsh treatment accorded them by Charlemagne and Pepin. When Charlemagne led an expedition against the Moors of Spain, the Saxons rose up, drove out the monks, and threatened Fulda. On his return in 779, Charlemagne put down the uprising, but Sturmi was stricken at Fulda before he could reorganize his missions and died there on December 17. Known as the "Apostle of the Saxons," he was the first German to become a Benedictine (Delaney, Encyclopedia).
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