Saint Heribert of Cologne, Bishop

March 16

Today is the feast day of Saint Heribert of Cologne.  Ora pro nobis.

Saint Heribert was born at Worms, about 970. He  died at Cologne, 16 March, 1021. His father was Duke Hugo of Worms. (1)

After receiving his education at the cathedral school of Worms, he spent some time as guest at the monastery of Gorze, after which he became provost at the cathedral of Worms.

In 994 he was ordained priest; in the same year King Otto III appointed him chancellor for Italy and four years later also for Germany, a position which he held until the death of Otto III on 23 January, 1002. As chancellor he was the most influential adviser of Otto III, whom he accompanied to Rome in 906 and again in 997. He was still in Italy when, in 999, he was elected Archbishop of Cologne. At Benevento he received ecclesiastical investiture and the pallium from Pope Sylvester II on 9 July, 999, and on the following Christmas Day he was consecrated at Cologne. (1)

Heribert’s extraordinary piety and generosity towards the poor were praised. Legend tells how Mary appeared to him and his friend and successor in the Episcopate Pilgrim in a dream and instructed Heribert to found the abbey in Cologne-Deutz . Since the builders did not find suitable wood for a cross, Heribert had his midday meal covered in his orchard, looked at a cross in a pear tree, and dropped the tree. During a prayer procession for rain from St. Severin to St. Pantaleon in Cologne, the participants saw a dove circling around Heribert; it rained after the mass. (2)

Heribert was buried in its founding in Cologne-Deutz . The survey of the bones took place on August 30, 1147, their transfer to the precious shrine in the church named after him in 1170; The shrine shows many scenes from his life. (2)

Between 1073 and 1075 he was canonized by Pope Gregory VII. (1)

Image: Emperor Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor, and Saint Heribert, archbishop of Cologne. Stained glass windows in the church of St. Heribert in Kreuzau, Germany. (3)

Research by REGINA Staff


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