This contribution analyzes the two versions of the Vita Galli written by Wetti and Walahfrid Strabo as sources on the transformations of monastic ideals in the period of the Carolingian monastic reforms and as documents for the integration of the monastery of St. Gallen into Carolingian political structures. I argue that both texts can be read productively as monastic ‘rules’ presented in a narrative form. While telling almost the same story about Gallus’ life and the early history of St. Gallen, Wetti and Walahfrid construct two different types of saints who embody different monastic ideals. Wetti presents his Gallus as a traditional Vir Dei similar to those we can find in Gregory of Tours’ Liber Vitae Patrum. Walahfrid turns Gallus and his followers into a monks who on the one hand embodied many aspects of the Regula Benedicti and on the other hand represented the ideals of the Carolingian monastic reforms: a child oblate with a proper inner-monastic education, trained in the disciplina regularis whose career closely followed the canonical rules and who used his profound artes-education to teach and produce exegesis for the rulers. Instead of continuing the futile discussion whether or not there was a historical Irish monk Gallus who belonged to the followers of Columban, I suggest to draw lines between the Regula Columbani as it manifests itself in the rules ascribed to Columbanus but, maybe even more, in Jonas of Bobbio’s Vita Columbani and the Carolingian monastic ideal that Gallus came to embody in Walahfrid’s Vita Galli. St. Gallen may have transformed itself from martyr shrine and outpost of episcopal rule into a ‘Columbanian’ monastery during the Carolingian period, by claiming a past that links the monastery to Columbanus, but also by adopting a monastic ideal that is rooted in the Columbanian movement. The last part of this chapter analyzes the series of healing miracles that Walahfrid Strabo added to his version of the Vita Galli. These miracula convey yet another aspect of sainthood which is in line with the ‘Columbanian’ ideal. Almost all of them take place in or around the monastic church and in connection with a liturgical act performed either by members of the monastic community or the community as a whole. The saint himself moves to the background, the community the space become the major agents of sanctity. Gallus adopts the role of an old janitor who appears in dreams in order to send people in search of healing to the right space and the right people: the monastic church and the praying monks. In that sense, the miracula in Walahfrid Strabo’s Vita Galli could be read as a Klosterplan in narrative disguise.
|Title of host publication||Gallus und seine Zeit. Leben, Wirken, Nachleben|
|Editors||Franziska Schnoor, Karl Schmuki, Ernst Tremp, Peter Erhart, Jakob Kuratli Hüeblin|
|Place of Publication||St. Gallen|
|Publisher||Verlag im Klosterhof|
|State||Published - 2015|