Today, January 6, we celebrate the fest of Saint Erminold of Prüffening (died, 1121), abbot and martyr for the faith. Saint Erminold was a Benedictine abbot, who maintained such strictness in his monastery, that he was slain by one of his own lay brothers. His life is an example of order and devotion, in a troubled world. He is famed for his spirit of prayer and charity for the poor and needy.
Erminold was born to one of the royal families in Swabia (one of the four original provinces of Germany), and was given to the abbot of Hirschau, a local monastery, to be educated. His tutor, William, was one of the most learned and pious men of those times, and Erminold flourished under his tutelage, by the grace of God. He made rapid progress in his studies, and upon completion, promptly took the vows of monastic life. There, he lived a life of quiet devotion and strict adherence to community rules.
In 1110, Erminold was appointed Abbot of the Monastery at Lorch by Emperor Hney V. However, as the Emperor owed Erminold’s brother a favor, he refused the position, given the appearance of simony (the buying or selling of ecclesiastical positions, or profit from sacred things). Returning to Hirschau, he resumed his quiet life.
Only seven years later, the Bishop of Bamberg, invited Erminold to assume the abbotship of the Abbey at Pruffening, near Ratisbon, Germany. He became the first father there, attracting new members and growing the congregation in the faith.
Saint Erminold was a great friend of the poor. Upon assuming leadership at Pruffening, Erminold emptied all the storehouses of his monastery to feed the needy during a famine. When at length nothing was left to feed his monks, the saintly man begged God to intervene, and invoked the intercession of the martyr, Saint George. His prayers were answered when the next day a rich noble came to the abbot, promising to relieve their want from his own wealth.
Saint Erminold insisted on strict discipline, according to the Rule of Saint Benedict. While the majority of his community lived in harmony, some lay brothers took offense at his strictness, and in 1121, one named Aaron killed him. It is said by some that he was beaten with a piece of timber, whereas other accounts indicate he was stabbed. All accounts agree that following his mortal wound, he lingered in life for a few days, passing into Heaven on Epiphany at the hour he had predicted. He had stated, “Tomorrow, during the solemnities of the greater Mass, with the choir singing, ‘Glory to God in the highest,’ I shall depart from this world.” Following his death, a large number of miracles were recorded at his tomb at St. George Church at Prüffening Abbey in Regensburg, Germany
Throughout 2013, I will be posting the prayer requests received from the previous week on Sundays. Please join me in lifting these intentions to Our Lord, through the intercession of Our Blessed Mother.
Prayer requests, 2013: Week 1:
For healing of a brain disorder (J, United Kindgom); Improved relationship with the Lord, increased faith and grace (E, Finland); For a family’s successful reconciliation (M, USA-MA); Health, safety, and protection (J, Ireland); Healing of an ill husband, blessings upon a daughter’s family (S, India); For financial security and protection (P, India); Blessings and health, financial security (J, Oman).