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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume I: January. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

February 4

St. Rembert, Archbishop of Bremen, Confessor

HE was a native of Flanders, near Bruges, and a monk in the neighbouring monastery of Turholt. St. Anscharius called him to his assistance in his missionary labours, and in his last sickness recommended him for his successor, saying: “Rembert is more worthy to be archbishop, than I to discharge the office of his deacon.” After his death, in 865, St. Rembert was unanimously chosen archbishop of Hanburgh and Bremen, and superintended all the churches of Sweden, Denmark, and the Lower Germany, finishing the work of their conversion. He also began the conversion of the Sclavi and the Vandals, now called Brandenburghers. He sold the sacred vessels to redeem captives from the Normans; and gave the horse on which he was riding for the ransom of a virgin taken by the Sclavi. He was most careful never to lose a moment of time from serious duties and prayer; and never to interrupt the attention of his mind to God in his exterior functions. He died on the 11th of June in 888, but is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on the 4th of February, the day on which he was chosen archbishop. His life of St. Anscharius is admired, both for the author’s accuracy and piety, and for the elegance and correctness of the composition. His letter to Walburge, first abbess of Nienherse, is a pathetic exhortation to humility and virginity. The see of Hanburgh being united to Bremen by St. Anscharius, this became the metropolitan church of all the north of Germany: but the city becoming Lutheran, expelled the archbishop in the reign of Charles V. This see and that of Ferden were secularized and yielded to the Swedes by the treaty of Westphalia, in 1648. See his life written soon after his death, in Henschenius, p. 555. Mabillon, Act. Bened. &c.  1