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Guebwiller church: Léger's horrible tortures, a ladder relic

The siege ladder | GFreihalter / CC-BY-SA
Siege Martyr Parish church Saint-Leger church in Guebwiller

Saint Léger

Léger? Léodégar, his real German name! Léger was born Teutonic, in a noble family from the Rhine banks in the beginning of the 7th c.

He was bishop of Autun! Léger was son of Bodilon von Thurgau and saint Sigarde. His niece, Berswinde, married the Alsatian duke Etichon.

We know their daughter: she was the very famous saint Odile, patron saint of Alsace!

Whoa, it’s a small world… So, people worshipped him in Poitiers (where his relics were buried), in Autun, in Picardy (he was martyred here) and of course, in Alsace!

After all, Odile, his cousin, managed the famous monastery on the mount… Even the great Murbach abbey was named after Léger.

This poor one died tortured by a naughty lord of Neustria, Ebroin: he had his feet torn to bits by cutting blades, lips slashed, his face cut, his eyes gouged-out… He ended lame, blind, mute, disfigured but… alive! But few years after, this swine Ebroin found him and really killed him.


Did you know we can see here the rudimentary ladders used on February 13th 1445 by Armagnacs, when they besieged the city?

The tradition says a woman, Brigitte Schiklin, gathered in time inhabitants… who disconcerted enemies! Surprised, those one dropped their equipment there and took French leave…

In fact, they thought Brigitte was the Virgin Mary! They even founded a pilgrimage, every year.

Another story says it was saint Valentine (whose head was kept in Rixheim) who saved the city: hey, we were on February 13th, Valentine’s day, that’s why!

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!