« Pilgrimages Pilgrim Pillar of Fire and Cloud »


PILIGRIM: Bishop of Passau; d. May 20, 991. He was a kinsman of Friedrich, archbishop of Salzburg; was brought up at the Benedictine monastery of Niederaltaich; became a canon of the diocese; and was bishop of Passau, 971–991. For Supporting Otto II. against Duke Henry he was rewarded with the monastery of St. Mary, a part of the revenue of Passau, and a confirmation of his title. The emperor approved his control of the monastery of Krems in 975, of St. Florian and St. Pölten in 976, and later of Ötting and Mattsee. The bishopric had no real claim on any one of these, but Piligrim knew how to establish one on forged documents. His inordinate ambition included the elevation of Passau into an archbishopric. This effort was advanced by means of the reoccupation of Ostmark and the beginning of the mission to Hungary, and Piligrim forwarded the most embellished reports to Pope Benedict VI. in 973 or 974, to the effect that about 5,000 persons had been baptized; countless Christian captives of war had openly confessed; that the heathen offered no hindrances; and that he was convinced that the erection of several bishoprics in Hungary was necessary in order to conserve and extend what had been accomplished. He advanced the fable to Benedict that at one time Lorch, which he represented to be the original seat of the bishopric of Passau, was the metropolitan seat for seven bishoprics in Pannonia and Moesia; and had a number of sources forged representing the relations of earlier popes with the archbishopric of Lorch. He asked, therefore, for the pallium and the authorization to erect the bishoprics in Hungary. His dependence upon fraud may have been due to the slight importance attached by the emperor and the pope to this enterprise. Failing in this effort, he succeeded in 977 in having a statement included in a document of Otto II., which declared Lorch to have been an ancient seat of primacy. But evidently Archbishop Friedrich induced the pope to confirm his right over Bavaria and Pannonia, and Piligrim had to abandon his plans. But Piligrim's care for his district was great, and churches were organized and synods were held. He was a man distinctly ahead of his times in his freedom from superstition, and made a marked impression upon his age.

(A. Hauck.)

Bibliography: E. Dümmler, Piligrim von Passau und das Erbistum Lorch, Leipsic, 1854; S. Riezler, Geschichte Baierns, i. 391 sqq., Gotha, 1878; K. Schrödl, Passavia sacra, i. 77 sqq., Passau, 1879; Hauck, KD, iii. 166 sqq.

« Pilgrimages Pilgrim Pillar of Fire and Cloud »
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