Side trip to the church of St. James in Lommis and to Sonnenberg Castle
The ground plan of the church of St. James in Lommis indicates a modest Romanesque church, the masonry of which still exists in the northern church wall. In the Gothic period, the nave was widened, creating the still existing southern wall of the nave. The church received its present form around 1500 from the noblemen of Spiegelberg.
St James in Lommis
Almost simultaneously with the construction of the Fischinger St. Idda Chapel, the old ossuary chapel dedicated to St. Michael was converted into a charming Idda sanctuary in 1701, thus creating an additional way station to this Toggenburg saint.
The legend, the oldest surviving versions of which date back to the hermit Benedictine P. Albrecht von Bonstetten in 1481/85, tells of Saint Idda as follows:
Idda was a daughter of Count von Kirchberg near Ulm. She married Diethelf IV of Toggenburg and after his death Gottfried von Märstetten. Gottfried von Märstetten gave her a precious golden ring as a wedding present. One day a raven flew out of the forest, the ravine deep below the castle, which is called Rappen-stein, and carried away the Countess's golden ring from the window ledge. Now it happened that a hunter found the ring in the raven's nest and put it on his finger. Another servant recognised the ring on the hunter's finger as the ring that the count had given to the countess. Thereupon he suspected the hunter of adulterous dealings with the countess. In an uncontrolled temper, the Count let the hunter be dragged to death and the innocent Idda fell over the battlements into the deep gorge.
But God heard the Countess' cry for help and protected her so that she survived the fall unharmed. Now Idda decided to dedicate her life to God alone. As a hermit, she first lived in a cave of the Rappenstein. One day she was discovered, believed to be dead, and the Count immediately sought her out to bring her back to the castle. Idda forgave her husband everything, but did not want to depart from her lonely life with God. At her request, the Count had a hermitage built near the Marienkirche in Au. She lived there for many years. The people who heard about her holy life provided for her livelihood. Every night she went to Fischingen for a night service. A deer accompanied her and illuminated her way with its twelve lights on its antlers. Later she lived as an inclusin in the Benedictine monastery of Fischingen. There she was harassed by the devil. When the devil once put out her light, she cried out of her little window: "Get up and light a light for me! Then a dead man rose from his grave, brought her light and said: "Take the light from my hand, from Toggenburg I am called. From then on the devil could not harm her any more until the end. She died around 1226 and was buried in front of the altar of St. Nicholas in the monastery church of Fischingen. - Bonstetten writes at the end of his legend: "Idda acquired from God the great grace that no spectre of the devil could harm all who call upon her. That is why they ask people in all kinds of afflictions..."
On 3 November - hence the day of remembrance - she is said to have been buried by her son north of the former monastery church in Fischingen. Soon after her death a chapel was built over the grave and Idda was venerated as a saint. In 1704, the new construction of the monastery church led to the demolition of the old chapel and to a new building with a rich architectural structure. The monastery was abolished in 1848, but was restored in 1977 as a male monastery "Abbey of Our Lady near St. Idda".