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bonn.gif (41824 bytes)Joint Irish / German  Issues--:

This special stamp was issued on June 15th., 1989 and features the illustration of the three Irish martyrs Cillian (Killian), Colman and Totnan, taken from the "Passionate aus Hirsau".The Irish stamp was produced as a 28p value, while the German stamp was produced as a single 100 PFG's value.It was designed by Paul Effert from Germany.It also had a special presentation pack.

As the only country that did not belong to the Roman Empire, Ireland had been converted to Christianity by Palladius and Saint Patrick. The Irish form of Christianity was based on the Bible and featured groups of men going into remote places to prasy and be nearer to God. Several times during the 7th century wandering missionaries left Ireland to make the Gospel known among the Germanic peoples.
The three saints called Kilian, Colman and Totnan also belonged to this Irish-Scottish missionary movement; around 686 AC they came to eastern Franconia to propagate the Christian faith. Their lives have been documented in two biographies dating from the 8th and 9th century, the former of which is called 'Passio Maior', while the later, more detailed though legendary one, is known as 'Passio Minor'.

According to these reports the Franconian apostles came from Ireland to Franconia, converted Duke Gozbert to Christianity and preached faith in the triune God. The missionaries caused offense by claiming that Duke Gozbert should leave his wife Geilana as she had first been married to his brother. Kilian thus incurred the anger of the Duchess and together with his companions was murdered in 689 by her secret order.
However their tomb was found and on 8 July 752 Bishop Burchard, coming to Germany in the wake of St. Bonifatius, had their relics elevated. Pilgrims have been thronging to the tombs of the Franconian apostles ever since. During the 9th and 10th centuries the worship of Saint Kilian was spreading throughout Germany and beyond its borders.

Although Irish monks and pilgrims had brought the cult of the Franconian apostles back to the country of their origin as early as in the Middle Ages, it wasn’t fully developed until the 19th century.

Cardinal Tomas O’Fiaich, Primate of Ireland, visited Wurzburg on the occasion of St. Killian’s feast in 1989, opened a special week of prayer to St. Kilian’s   and accompanied the relics of the Franconian apostles from Neumunster cathedral to the Cathedral of  St. Killian.