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Kilian

The canonized Roman Catholic missionary was born in Mullagh (Ireland) and died in 689 as a martyr in Würzburg, where he probably (the sources state this differently) exercised the episcopal office. The Celtic name means "man in the cell", his day of remembrance is 8 July. According to legendary tradition, he came from a noble Iro-Scottish family. Kilian joined the monastic rule of Kolumban and initially sought solitude. Later he studied the sciences of his time. It is said that he made a pilgrimage to Rome to receive confirmation of his inner mission as a messenger of faith. Together with his two companions Kolonat and Totnan, he is venerated as a Franconian apostle and is regarded as the patron saint of winegrowers in Franconia. In the Franconian national anthem "Wohlauf, die Luft geht frisch und rein" (wellbeing, the air is fresh and pure) it says: "The winegrower's patron Kilian gives us something fine". The hybrid Kilian vine was probably named after the saint. See also under Farming Rules, Wine Gods and Wine Saints.

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