St. Gall, a Patron Saint of Birds

The Life and Miracles of Saint Gall

birds
St. Gall is a patron saint of birds because of an exorcism miracle from his life. Andy Rouse / The Image Bank / Getty Images

Saint Gall (alternatively spelled St. Gallus or St. Gallen) serves a patron saint for birds, geese, and poultry (chickens and turkeys). Here's a look at St. Gall's life and the miracles that believers say God has performed through him:

Lifetime

550 to 646 AD in the area that is now Ireland, France, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany

Feast Day

October 16th

Biography

Gall was born in Ireland and, after growing up, he became a monk at Bangor, a major Irish monastery that served as the center of mission work for Europe.

In 585, Gall joined a small group of monks led by Saint Columba to travel to France and found two monasteries there (Annegray and Luxeuil).

Gall kept traveling to preach the Gospel and help start new monasteries until 612 when he became ill and needed to stay in one place to heal and recover. Gall then lived in Switzerland with some other monks. They focused on prayer and Bible scholarship while living as hermits.

Gall often spent time outside in nature -- God's creation -- reflecting and praying. Birds frequently kept him company during those times.

After Gall's death, his small monastery grew to become a well-regarded center of music, art, and literature.

Famous Miracles

Gall miraculously performed an exorcism for a woman named Fridiburga, who was engaged to be married to Sigebert II, King of the Franks. Fridiburga was possessed by demons who hadn't come out of her previously when two different bishops had tried to exorcise them.

But when Gall tried to exorcise them, the demons flew out of Fridiburga's mouth in the form a black bird. That dramatic event inspired people to make Gall the patron saint of birds.

Another animal miracle associated with Gall is the story of how he encountered a bear in the forest near his monastery one day and stopped the bear from attacking him after it charged toward him.

Then, the story goes, the bear went away for a while and returned later with some firewood it had apparently gathered, setting the wood down by Gall and his fellow monks. From that point on, the bear reportedly became a companion to Gall, showing up around the monastery regularly.