Gall, a saint of the Roman Catholic church, called the apostle of Switzerland, born in Bangor, Ireland, about 551, died in St. Gall, Oct. 16, 646. According to some biographers, his original name was Gallun or Gilian. while others call him Gall of Hibernia to distinguish him from another St. Gall, bishop of Clermont-Ferrand, who died about 550. He was of noble parentage, was educated under Columbanus in the monastery of Bangor, and followed him to Gaul. After sharing the dangers and vicissitudes of his master's life, he refused while sick of a fever to follow him into Italv. Columbanus punished the refusal by forbidding Gall to celebrate mass during the abbot's lifetime. No sooner had Gall recovered from his illness than he and his monks, who with one exception had remained with him, left their abode at Bregenz, and selected a site for a new monastery on the steep banks of the Steinach, not far from the southern shore of Lake Constance. By his eloquence and his command of the German tongue he was able to spread the knowledge of Christianity rapidly among the Alemanni and Helvetii. Having cured miraculously, as it was thought, the daughter of a chief or duke of the former, Thierry II., to whose son she was affianced, bestowed on the missionary all the land he wished to occupy between Lake Constance and the Rhaetian Alps (about (512). Constance being created an episcopal see, Gall was chosen as its bishop; but he excused himself on account of the injunction of Columbanus forbidding him to perform sacred functions.
In 615 the latter from his deathbed sent his crozier as a token of forgiveness; and ten years later Gall was invited to assume the government of the great monastery of Luxeuil, but alleged his obligation of evangelizing the heathen tribes of southern Germany. The number of his disciples now increased wonderfully. Around the humble monastery his converts came to dwell, until the clustering huts grew in after years to be the city of St. Gall. At his death the territory occupied by the Alemanni was a Christian province. His feast is celebrated on Oct. 16. A discourse pronounced at the consecration of the bishops of Constance is the sole relic which has reached us of all his learning. The life of St. Gall was written in the 9th century by Walafried Stra-bo, and in Latin verse by the monk Notker in the 10th. See also the Bollandists' new Acta Sanctorum for Oct. 16, and Montalembert's Moines d'Occident.