St. Rupert is recognized for his works of evangelization and conversion and for his tireless promotion of the development of the salt mining industry in Bavaria in the early years of the 8th century AD.
Before St. Rupert began his missionary work, he was the Bishop of a city called Worms. In about the year 697 AD, he presented himself before Duke Theodo of Bavaria. The Duke was still a pagan, but he welcomed Rupert and his followers. He consented to listen to their preaching and to receive instruction in the Catholic faith. Theodo was soon baptized and was fully converted to Catholicism, and many of the nobles and citizens also followed his example.
The work that St. Rupert did to evangelize the people prompted the need for many new churches to be built, as the population re-established itself in the Christian faith. St. Rupert made many converts and performed several miracles of healing. After some time, the Duke gave Rupert an old, ruined town called Juvavum and a neighboring valley that contained some salt springs. The town was rebuilt and Rupert renamed it Salzburg. Salz means salt in German. Theodo’s generosity also enabled Rupert to erect a magnificent church and a monastery with a school in Salzburg. St. Rupert died in Salzburg, about the year 710 AD.
When we see pictures and statues of St. Rupert, we often see him holding a container of salt. It is for this reason that our school has adopted our motto from the Gospel of St. Matthew: “You are salt of the Earth....” - Matthew 5:13