Saint Corbinian – the Iconography

In Freising, St. Corbinian, first bishop of that city. Pope Gregory II ordained him and sent him there. He bore plentiful fruit in Gaul and Germany and then went to his rest famous for his virtues and his miracles. – Roman Martyrology for September 8

St. Corbinian was a bishop who evangelized in upper Bavaria in the 8th century from headquarters in Freising. At the bottom of the portrait on the right is his attribute, a bear carrying a pack. In his legend when he was journeying to Rome a bear came out of the woods and killed his pack-horse, so he made the bear carry the pack the rest of the way.1

Prepared in 2019 by Richard Stracke, Emeritus Professor of English, Augusta University.


St. Corbinian and his attribute, a bear carrying a pack. Stained glass window in Saint-Clément, Essonne, France. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

With St. Candidus, co-patron of the Collegiate Church of San Candido, Italy. (See the description page.)

With three other German bishops. (See the description page.)


  • A bear carrying a pack


  • Feast day: September 8



1 Acta Sanctorum, September vol. 3, 285. Butler, III, 511.