Franciscan Saints




24th March 


The Servant of God Aolph of Schaumburg




Confessor, First Order

No sooner than Adolph IV, duke of Schaumberg ( Lord of Holstein, Ditmarsch and Wagria, ) taken up his inheritance of Land from his father than King Waldemar II, of Denmark went to war against him to take possession of that Land.

The hotly contested and bloody battle took place at Bornhovede in Holstein on July 22, 1227, and when Adolph realised that defeat was imminent he vowed to God that if he was given the victory he would forsake the world and done the habit of St. Francis. Immediately the tide of battle turned to  his advantage as the Ditmarsch troops who had aligned themselves with the Danes came over to Adolph’s side. Four thousand Danes were slain on the battlefield and their king, himself barely escaped capture.

Adolph could not fulfil his vow until his sons were mature enough to govern his lands nevertheless he began to draw daily closer to the Seraphic Order and built several Franciscan Convents at Lubeck, Hamburg and Kiel.

In 1239 when his sons were mature enough to govern Adolph resigned the government into their hands and enter the novitiate in the convent at Kiel.

He was ordain priest in 1244 and celebrated his first  holy Mass in the convent church at Schwerin, afterwards he laboured as Confessor in various Franciscan convents, particularly in Lubeck and also in Hamburg and Oldenburg. As far as his life in religion Adolph was and (Habig, 1959, page 204) puts it this way “ … as modest and retired, as obedient and humble as if he had completely forgotten his noble birth and former rank.”

It is said that one day Adolph was returning to his convent after fetching a jug of milk as alms for his brethren, when he met his sons and their retinue on horseback and was ashamed to be seen by them carrying the milk jug. Immediately filled with self-reproach, Adolph poured the milk over his own so that whoever saw him would see on his head what he was ashamed to be seen carrying in his hand.

Adolph became seriously ill in 1261 while at the convent at Kiel and was afraid at the thought of death and judgement. The Queen of heaven with many saints appeared to him and said;

“‘Why do you tremble, my son? Why do you fear to let your souls leave this prison of its body to enter into eternal freedom and bliss?  See my Divine Son is approaching in order to receive your spirit and to reward you for the many years spent in the poverty and austerity of the order. Come, then, O soul, with joy and confidence, for a blessed dwelling awaits you.’”(ibid)

Consoled by these words Adolph died peacefully in the Lord. In the Franciscan church at Kiel,(since destroyed) they placed a memorial tablet to him with the following inscription, “Holstein, mourn not the death of thy ruler, with Francis he reigns on heaven’s high throne.”






Prayer of the Church

(No. 29 under "Various Prayers")


O God, who makest all things to be of profit to those that love

Thee, give unto our hearts an abiding love for Thee: that our

desires arising from Thine inspiration, may not waiver through any


Through the same Christ Our Lord Who liveth and reigneth
with Thee and the Holy Spirit,  One God, now and forever.  Amen



Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois


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