Aubert of Avranches

A Look Into the Life of a Saint

Saint Aubert, also known as Autbert or Alberht in various historical documents, was born in an unknown year, presumably in the early 7th century, and passed away in 720. He is best known for his role as the Bishop of Avranches, a position he assumed around 708.

Early Life

Although little is known about his early life, it is clear that Aubert came from a noble background. He was well-educated, likely in a monastery, which laid the groundwork for his religious career.

Episcopal Career

When Aubert became Bishop of Avranches, he was stepping into a vital role. The bishopric was a powerful position not only within the church but also within society. As bishop, Aubert’s responsibilities extended far beyond the spiritual. He also held considerable political influence.

Vision of Archangel Michael

Perhaps the most famous aspect of Aubert’s life is his visions of Archangel Michael, the leader of heaven’s forces in their triumph over the powers of hell. According to the legend, Archangel Michael appeared to Aubert in a dream and instructed him to build a church on the rocky islet now known as Mont Saint-Michel.

Historic Mont Saint Michel in the evening.
Historic Mont Saint Michel

Initially, Aubert was hesitant to carry out this divine command. It was only after Michael appeared several times and even burned a hole in Aubert’s skull with his finger that the bishop complied. Today, Aubert’s skull, complete with the hole, is a religious relic displayed in the Saint-Gervais Basilica in Avranches.

Mont Saint-Michel

In obedience to the vision, Aubert built a small church in 709 on the rocky islet at the mouth of the Couesnon River. This small church has since grown into the grand abbey of Mont Saint-Michel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts millions of visitors each year.

Legacy and Sainthood

Aubert’s piety and commitment to his divine vision led to his canonization. His feast day is celebrated on September 10th. The legacy of Aubert of Avranches lives on through the beautiful Mont Saint-Michel, the church he commissioned as per the instructions of Archangel Michael.

Saint Aubert of Avranches is not just an intriguing figure from the annals of Christian history; he is a testament to the power of faith and the grandeur that can result from unwavering devotion. His story continues to inspire and motivate millions around the world.

Staying on Mont St. Michel

Discover the enchanting allure of Mont St. Michel by spending a night within its historic walls. From witnessing the ethereal beauty of high tides to exploring narrow, winding streets without the daytime crowds, an overnight stay on this UNESCO World Heritage site offers an unparalleled and magical experience. Explore our guide to accommodations, dining, and unique evening activities, and make your visit to Mont St. Michel truly unforgettable.