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Relics of medieval saint stolen from church in Germany

The relics of a tenth-century saint have been stolen from a church in southern Germany. Bavarian police have opened an investigation and are seeking help from the public.

According to police, thieves entered the Church of St. Wolfgang on Bischof-Wittmann-Strasse in Regensburg between 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm on Monday, October 26, 2020, and then broken open a glass and steel enclosure at the tomb of Saint Wolfgang of Regensburg. They caused material damage amounting to several thousand euros and removed the saint’s relics.

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Wolfgang of Regensburg had a long career within the Catholic church during the tenth century, becoming a teacher in the cathedral school of Trier in 956. He later served as part of missions to evangelize the Magyars, in 972 became the Bishop of Regensburg in Bavaria. He died on October 31, 994, and soon after many churches chose him as their patron saint, and various towns were named after him.

The relics before the theft. Photo courtesy the Bavarian Police.

Wolfgang was officially canonized a saint in 1052, with his feast day taking place on October 31st. It is not known if the theft being so close to his feast day is a coincidence or not.

German police have asked the public for assistance in this case. “Observations of the deed, suspicious persons and actions at the specified time, vehicles or other information on the whereabouts of the relics can be helpful,” they said. “Every clue, no matter how small, can be important for the investigation.”

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Those able to offer assistance can contact the Regensburg police at 0941 / 506-2888.

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