Aubert of Avranches

Saint Aubert
Normandie Manche Avranches5 tango7174.jpg
Saint Aubert's skull at the Saint-Gervais Basilica
Died720 AD
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church
Orthodox Catholic Church
Major shrineChurch of S Gervais in Avranches
Feast10 September

Saint Aubert, also known as Saint Autbert, was bishop of Avranches in the 8th century and is cred with founding Mont Saint-Michel.


He lived in France during the reign of Childebert III (695-711) and died about 720.[1] According to legend, in 708 he had a vision in which the Archangel Michael instructed him to build an oratory on the rocky tidal island at the mouth of the Couesnon.[2] Aubert did not pay attention to this vision at first, until in exasperation Michael appeared to him again, this time driving his finger into Aubert's skull and ordering him to complete the task again. Michael is said to have appeared to him a total of three times. After this the oratory was built. It was dedicated on 16 October 709[3] Here he at first established canons; then the Benedictines. Aubert is reputed to have been buried at the oratory.[4]

The relic of Aubert's skull, complete with hole where the archangel's finger pierced it, can still be seen at the Saint-Gervais Basilica in Avranches. It is more generally believed nowadays that the skull is in fact a prehistoric relic showing evidence of trepanation. He is regarded as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, with a feast day of 10 September.[5]

Saint Aubert's dream
Aubert was ordered by the archangel Michael to start construction of what became Mont Saint-Michel


  1. ^ "Aubert of Avranches", The Oxford Dictionary of Saints (David Farmer, ed.),OUP, 2011, ISBN 9780199596607
  2. ^ Huddleston, Gilbert. "Mont-St-Michel." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 10. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 17 Aug. 2014
  3. ^ "The archangel and the origins of the Abbey", Abbey Mont Saint Michel
  4. ^ "Aubert, Bishop of Avranches", The Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature. (James Strong and John McClintock), eds.); Harper and Brothers; NY; 1880
  5. ^ Attwater, Donald and Catherine Rachel John. The Penguin Dictionary of Saints. 3rd ion. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN 0-14-051312-4.