- King Sigismund
Son of Gunebald, the Vandal king of Burgundy. Spiritual student of bishop Saint Avitus of Vienne. Built the monastery of Saint-Maurice at Agaune in Valais, Switzerland in 515. King of Burgundy in 516.
A Christian by faith, Sigismund had a hot temper, and was still close to his pagan roots. When his son opposed and insulted his second wife during a political dispute in 517, Sigismund ordered the young man strangled to death. Consumed with remorse, Sigismund retired to the monastery of Saint-Maurice to live for years in penance, surrounded by the singing of praise to God, giving largely to the poor, and praying for a way to atone of his act.
Called to lead his troops against invading Franks, the king lost in the field, and Burgundy was over-run. Sigismund put on a monk‘s habit, and hid in a cell near the abbey of Agaunum. He was eventually found, captured, taken to Orléans, and murdered. Honoured by his people as a martyr.
- executed in 523 at Orleans, France
- his body was thrown down a well at Columelle
- his relics were recovered, and a shrine developed near the abbey of Agaunum
- relics translated to the cathedral of Prague (in the modern Czech Repubic) by Emperor Charles IV
- king enthroned with a greyhound at his feet
- king holding a sword and palm with his armour nearby
- king with his two sons nearby
- old king with a sword and well or font nearby
- young king holding an orb and scepter
- Book of Saints, by the Monks of Ramsgate
- Lives of the Saints, by Father Alban Butler
- Our Sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Saints
- Roman Martyrology
- “Saint Sigismund of Burgundy“. Saints.SQPN.com. 4 May 2013. Web. 25 May 2013. <>