Happy Feast of St. Conrad of Marburg

Today, July 30, is the Feast of St. Conrad of Marburg, the patron saint of evil doers.

Conrad of Marburg was a Dominican monk who, in 1233, after a life of many good works including regularly flogging St. Elizabeth of Hungary, was appointed as Inquisitor and he threw himself into his holy work with holy relish, going from town to town, torturing and burning everyone he could get his holy hands upon.

At least he did until he made the mistake of summoning Count Henry of Sayn to his court and on this date in 1233, Count Henry got his hands, and his sword, and his battle axe and his mace and his lance on Conrad and his two assisstants and thoroughly and completely martyred them.

Pope Gregory IX, upon hearing of this, immediately declared Conrad a Saint.  Then, a few days later, letters started to arrive from the various Bishops whose diocese had been visited by the now St. Conrad, thanking God, and various divine minions, for having relieved Germany of this bloodthirsty burden.  This created a problem for the Pope as there did not seem to be a procedure for uncanonizing someone and the canon lawyers could not figure out a way to create one.  So Gregory simply decided that it was best to forget that it had ever happened.

Even so, a chapel was erected on the spot of St. Conrad’s martyrdom and stood there until WW2 when the invading Russians blew it to pieces with artillery.  (Nothing personal, it was just in the way.)


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