Archive for the ‘St. Ludger’ Tag

Feast of St. Wastrada and Her Family (July 21)   Leave a comment

Above:  Gaul in 714 C.E.

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT WASTRADA (DIED CIRCA 760)

mother of

SAINT GREGORY OF UTRECHT (703-776)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Utrecht

His feast transferred from August 25

uncle of 

SAINT ALBERIC OF UTRECHT (DIED AUGUST 21, 784)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Utrecht

His feast transferred from November 14 and August 21

One of my goals is renovating my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days is to emphasize relationships and influences.  That emphasis is consistent with telling family stories, such as this one.

This family was nobility related to the Carolingian Dynasty.  Alberic and St. Wastrada (d. 760) were a married couple.  After Alberic died St. Wastrada became a nun.  Their son was St. Gregory of Utrecht, born in Trier in 703.  He, educated at the monastery at Pfalzel, met his mentor, the visiting St. Boniface of Mainz (675-754), there in 722.  St. Gregory became the Abbot of St. Martin’s Abbey, Utrecht, a center of missionary activities.  In 754 St. Eoban (feast day = July 7), Bishop of Utrecht for about a year, died, having become a martyr with St. Boniface.  St. Gregory, without formal consecration, served as the Bishop of Utrecht from 754 to 775, until failing health forced him to step down.  He died in 776.  St. Gregory, habitually quick to forgive, served as a mentor to many saints, including St. Ludger (742-809).

The next Bishop of Utrecht was St. Alberic of Utrecht, St. Gregory’s nephew.  St. Alberic, renowned for his great intellect, deep piety, and evangelistic zeal, had been a Benedictine monk in Utrecht and the Prior of the cathedral in that city.  He reorganized the school, evangelized pagan Teutons, and directed the missionary work of St. Ludger in Ostergau.  (St. Ludger had been a student of St. Alcuin of York, a friend of St. Alberic.)  St. Alberic died on August 2, 784.

We know little about St. Wastrada, but we can learn something about her faith by pondering her son and his nephew.  We can know that the direct and indirect influences of St. Wastrada were profound, surviving her for many generations.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 10, 2018 COMMON ERA

PROPER 5:  THE THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES OF NISIBIS, BISHOP; AND SAINT EPHREM OF EDESSA, “THE HARP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT”

THE FEAST OF SAINTS GETULIUS, AMANTIUS, CAERAELIS, AND PRIMITIVUS, MARTYRS AT TIVOLI, 12O; AND SAINT SYMPHOROSA OF TIVOLI, MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT LANDERICUS OF PARIS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF THOR MARTIN JOHNSON, U.S. MORAVIAN CONDUCTOR AND MUSIC DIRECTOR

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Almighty God, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses:

Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of your servants

Saint Wastrada,

Saint Gregory of Utrecht, and

Saint Alberic of Utrecht,

may persevere in running the race that is set before us,

until at last we may attain with them to your eternal joy;

through Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 15

Hebrews 12:1-2

Matthew 25:31-40

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 724

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Feast of St. Ludger (March 26)   1 comment

St. Ludger’s Abbey (Founded Circa 800 and Rebuilt in the 1600s), Helmstedt, Lower Saxony, Germany

Image Source = Times

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SAINT LUDGER (CIRCA 742-809)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Munster

There was a time when Christianity was young in much of Europe.  Today the faith is fading in many places, but let us take courage.  The Kingdom of God is like a mustard plant, which goes where it will.  The mustard plant is really a glorified weed.  I write this post from northern Georgia, U.S.A., where we have a similarly stubborn plant, kudzu.

The existence of many of the churches, convents, and monasteries, and therefore the good works which people who lived, worked, and worshiped there committed, is due to the good work of many faithful missionaries, bishops, priests, abbots, monks, nuns, and lay people.  Among these faithful souls was St. Ludger, who, while a boy, in 753, met St. Boniface of Mainz, who impressed St. Ludger greatly.

Educated at the Utrecht Cathedral School, where he excelled in his studies, St. Ludger entered the diaconate in 767.  He studied under St. Alcuin of York  for a year then returned to Utrecht and continued his studies there.  The two saints maintained their friendship for years.

In 772, conflict between Frisians and Anglo-Saxons forced St. Ludger to take shelter, along with his precious books, to the abbey at Utrecht, where he remained for three years.  Then St. Ludger traveled to Deventer, in the modern-day Netherlands, to rebuild a church the pagan Saxons had destroyed and to conduct missionary work there.  He succeeded.

Ordained a priest in 777, St. Ludger tended to the missions in East Frisia, in Lower Saxony.  For seven years the saint did this work and returned to Utrecht each Autumn to teach at the cathedral school.  In 784, however, the Frisians expelled the missionaries, burned the churches, and committed apostasy.  The saint entered a brief retirement at the abbey of Monte Cassino, beginning in 785.  After two years of this, however, St. Ludger returned to the territory now called the Netherlands, where he rebuilt the Christian presence.

In 793, St. Ludger declined an offer by Charlemagne to make him Bishop of Trier but accepted the challenge of evangelizing the Saxons.  The building of abbeys was crucial to this work, for they provided many missionaries among the Saxons in what we call Germany today.  He also built many churches and convents, thereby providing firm foundations for the Church in that region for a long time to come.  This missionary work occupied the rest of St. Ludger’s life, including his tenure as Bishop of Munster (805-809).

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 25, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE CONVERSION OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE

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The Collect and Lections for a Missionary, from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), the hymnal and service book of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada:

God of grace and glory, we praise you for your servant St. Ludger, who made the good news known in Germany and The Netherlands.  Raise up, we pray, in every country, heralds of the gospel, so that the world may know the immeasurable riches of your love, and be drawn to worship you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Isaiah 62:1-7

Psalm 48

Romans 10:11-17

Luke 24:44-53

Posted January 25, 2011 by neatnik2009 in March 26, Saints of 700-799, Saints of 800-899

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