Franciscan Saints

21st December

The Servant of God Herman of Gesthagen

Confessor, First Order

In the year 1224 at Muehlhausen in Thuringia Germany saintly Father Herman of Gesthagen entered the Franciscan order. His favourite virtue was humility and out of true love for God he always sought the least and most wretched in everything since he believed that doing so was in conformity with the vocation of a Friar Minor.

In the observance of poverty he took especial care and contented himself with only those things that were indispensable. Yet he sacrificed himself utterly and indefatigably for the salvation of souls. Journeying to the most inhospitable areas of northern Germany, then but sparsely populated , so that he might preach the gospel to the poor and to administer Salvation to them. He instructed those who were ignorant, guided home the erring, comforted the desolate and assisted those about to die, over the threshold into eternal life. He was a true father to his flock.

In his administration of the sacrament of Penance he showed great charity and was blessed with success. In everything he was likened to a bright new star in the newly established Franciscan Order in the north of his country. The Almighty Father glorified him after death as in life by many signs and wonders. Herman raised several dead persons to life, restored sight to nine others, speech to three more while numbers of people were restored to full health.

After his death Herman was invoked to restore lost objects, and to peasants he was a special patron for recovering lost cattle.

His tomb is in the convent church at Muhlhausen, where he died in 1287. Three hundred years later, when the Lutherans took over the church, the people declared that they continued to see a brilliant light shine over his grave on special feast days.

Prayer of the Church
(Third Sunday in Lent)

We beseech Thee, Almighty God, look upon the desires of Thy
lowly servants and stretch forth the right hand of Thy majesty
to be our defence.
Through this same Christ our Lord who liveth and reigneth
with Thee and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

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

Last edited 13/09/2017 14:12 
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