ALBAN, SAINT, OF MAINZ
Alleged martyr of the fourth or fifth century, whose existence is somewhat doubtful. The oldest form of the story (Rabanus Maurus, Martyrologium, June 21; MPL, cx. 1152) is that he was sent by Ambrose from Milan in the reign of Theodosius I. (379-395) to preach the gospel in Gaul, and was beheaded at Mainz on the way. Numerous details were added later. On the supposed site of his burial, to the south of the city, a church was erected in his honor, which is mentioned as early as 758. In it in 794 Charlemagne buried his third wife, Fastrade. The edifice was subsequently rebuilt (796-805); and probably at this time it was made a Benedictine house. In 1419 it was changed to a knightly foundation, to which Emperor Maximilian I. in 1515 gave the privilege of coining golden florins (called" Albanusgulden"), with the effigy of the saint arrayed in eucharistic vestments and carrying his head in his hand--a not uncommon method of representing martyrs who had been beheaded, to indicate the manner of their death, The foundation was destroyed when Margrave Albert of Brandenburg ravaged Mainz in 1552.