St. Rupert was serving as Bishop of Worms when the pagan Duke Theodo of Bavaria invited him to come and evangelize in his realm. First, he brought the duke himself into the faith. Then, after finding the work too difficult for just one man, he recruited twelve compatriots to help out. They headquartered in a ruined Roman town that Theodo had given them as a fief. Rupert built a monastery and church there, and developed a salt works to support the mission. The monastery, the church, and the works became the nucleus for the city of Salzburg.
Because of the importance of salt (in German, Salz) to the saint's work, his attribute is a salt bucket. The bucket may have different shapes in different images, but the shape seen at right seems to be the most common. Some images will also refer to his founding of Salzburg by representing Hohensalzburg Castle, the iconic fortress above that city. One example also includes a copy of the Black Madonna of Altötting, the town where Rupert baptized Theodo.
As a bishop, St. Rupert is also portrayed with a mitre and crozier. Sometimes one also sees a pallium, a long band of cloth, adorned with crosses, that hangs from the neck of an archbishop and symbolizes his authority. Rupert was not himself an archbishop, but he did found what became the archdiocese of Salzburg.
Prepared in 2018 by Richard Stracke, Emeritus Professor of English, Augusta University.