St. Meinrad

St. Meinrad Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 01/21

Patron Of: Hospitality

Also known as
    Meinrad of Einsiedeln

    21 January

    May have been a member of the noble Hohenzollern family. Educated, professed as a Benedictine monk, and ordained at the abbey on the island of Reichenau, in Lake Constance in Switzerland. Teacher in Zurich. Around 829 he withdrew to live in prayer as a hermit in the Black Forest. As word of his holiness and wisdom spread, he attracted many visitors and would-be students. In 836 he retreated to a more remote location near Einsiedeln (which means hermitage).

    On 21 January 861 he received, fed, sheltered and entertained two rough-looking travelers. They were thieves, and when they found that Meinrad was a holy hermit who owned nothing worth stealing, they were so angry that they beat him to death. Legend says that his body was protected by ravens who attacked and chased away the murderers. Because he was such a holy man, he was considered a martyr, but there is no evidence that he died defending the faith.

    In the years following his death, a series of hermits, including Blessed Benno, used his hermitage. In 934 a Benedictine monastery was built there. It survives today, still serving as monastery, retreat center, and pilgrimage site. The statue of the Blessed Virgin in its huge church is thought to have belonged to Meinrad himself.

    at Solgen, Swabia (Sülichgau near Wurtemberg)

    beaten to death with clubs by robbers on 21 January 861 at Einsiedeln, Switzerland; relics in the abbey church at Einsiedeln


    Einsiedeln, Switzerland
    Swabia, Germany

    dead monk with ravens pursuing his murderers
    dead monk with two ravens near him
    monk being beaten to death with clubs by two men
    monk eating fish with a widow
    monk holding a club and ciborium
    monk with a tau staff walking into the wilderness
    monk with Saint Benedict
    two ravens

See Related Items

All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.


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