Title

A man called Gall.

Date of Award

5-1-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

School

Caspersen School of Graduate Studies

Degree Name

Doctor of Letters

Abstract

This dissertation defines the journey undertaken by a monk named Gall, his magister Columbanus and ten other compatriots from the illustrious Irish monastery located in Bangor, in the northern part of Ireland to the European continent about the year 583 A.D. Their quest was purposed to reinvigorate a lapsed mass of Christians and bring the gospel to other idolatrous Franks and Allemani people in the same regions now recognized as France, Germany and Switzerland. Historical fact, legends, miracles and myths centered about Gall and his companions were garnered by research from numerous sources including owned and borrowed texts, internet searches and pertinent articles. I had the privilege of visiting the St. Gallen Stiftsbibliothek, a UNESCO site located in the old walled City of St. Gallen providing exceptional access to a pictorial and written history of Gall. Following a preface explaining how my personal interest was amplified through my Swiss wife, introduction to her family and many visits to Switzerland, my purpose was set to investigate and write about St. Gall whose name and history were not well known abroad. Well along in my research I was interested in the possibility that St. Gall was not of Irish lineage as has been assumed by most historians. That possibility was enhanced since he was conversant in the native Allemanic languages frequently being called upon by his magister Columbanus to preach in their idiom. I suspected he may have been a native of the region and only educated in Ireland. His story and legacy have become more established over the centuries, so much so that the year 2012 was designated as the Gallus Jubilee year, celebrating his coming to Switzerland in 612 A.D., a 1,400 year history.