This isn’t my typical saint entry. I really enjoyed this article by Greg Ruehlmann on Busted Halo to promote a German saint whose feast day would be widely celebrated by Catholic German-Americans (similar to Irish-American celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day). I’m not certain why he chose Saint Godehard of Hildesheim (sometimes spelled Gotthard, Gothard, or Godard) for whom there seems to be very little information about in the English language. St. Boniface, apostle of the Germans, would seem to be a more appropriate analog to St. Patrick.
But today is Saint Godehard’s feast day, so let us learn about this somewhat obscure holy man:
- born in Bavaria in 960.
- joined the canons at Niederaltaich where he would become provost and help reintroduce the Rule of Benedict
- was known for keeping good order and was trusted to oversee reforms in monasteries
- served as Bishop of Hildesheim from 1022 until his death in 1038
- particularly drawn to those in poverty and founded a large home for the poor near Hidesheim
- canonized by Innocent II in 1131
- a major tunnel beneath the Alps between Switzerland and Italy is named for him
- according to Ruehlmann he is the patron saint against gout (I’ll pray for that!) and for help with difficult births
So on this lovely Friday, hoist a stein of German beer and celebrate St. Godehard.
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