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Steinfeld, Germany (1190)

   
History

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MiracleHunter.com - St. Hermann Joseph

Summary

St. Joseph Herman (1150-1241), also known as Hermann of Cologne, as a child he was very devoted to Our Lady. Often a child in a church praying before the statue of the Virgin Mary once, with the innocence of their children, offered an apple to the statue that was taken by Mary. At twelve, he entered the convent Ermanno premostratense of Steinfeld and was then sent for studies at the convent garden of Mary, in Frisian. He was a devout priest and spiritual guide illuminated serving some nunneries Rhine. He was famous for his mystical gifts and especially for his "mystical marriage with the Blessed Virgin Mary, and from this derived the name of Joseph, according to the custom of medieval Marian devotion. Herman wrote in Latin hymns dedicated to the Madonna, are still preserved. He was canonized in 1958.

Timeline

1150

He was born in Cologne, Germany into a family of good name that had lost its wealth. His mother was St. Hildegund.

1157

At the age of seven he attended school and very early he was known for devotion to the Blessed Virgin.

At every available moment he could be found at the church of St. Mary on the Capitol where he sought out the altar of the Holy Virgin to converse with her. Bonvisinus claims that the boy on one occasion brought an apple to the Mother of God and asked her to accept it. The statue of the Virgin moved, and she extended her hand to take the gift.

 

Another time he arrived at the church and saw the Queen of Heaven in great splendor in the choir. At her side were two children, St. John the Baptist and the Christ Child playing together. As Herman stood contemplating the scene, the Virgin called to him. He swiftly climbed the steps of presbytery, but the grilled gate to the choir was closed and locked.

“I cannot reach you,” he said to Mary, “the grill is locked and there is no ladder for me to climb over it.”

The Holy Virgin then directed him where to put his hands and feet in order to climb over the grill. Doing this, he entered the choir and she told him to join the Christ Child and St. John in play.

 

One cold winter day he came barefoot to the church to pray. As he approached the statue of Our Lady, she asked him: “Why are you barefoot on this cold day?” He answered: “Because I don’t have shoes.” She told him to look under a certain stone in the church where he would find enough money for a pair of shoes.


1162

At age 12, Herman joined the monastery of the Premonstratensian Canons (Norbertines) of Steinfeld, where he was assigned many different jobs. He was in frequent demand for the making and repairing of clocks.

1190

The mystical marriage between Herman and the Holy Virgin Mary was one night in 1190: while in church, absorbed in his prayers, he suddenly saw before him the Virgin Mary, unspeakably beautiful, wearing a beautiful dress of bright colors and was accompanied by two Angels. Ermanno heard one of two angels say a few words directed to another: "With whom should we marry the mother of God?". The other replied: "Who else if not with this brother?". Then, placing his right hand in the hand of Maria Ermanno, told him: "I commit this Lady as wife, and therefore I will call you Joseph." He added the name Joseph to his first name under the personal guidance of Our Lady symbolically taking St. Joseph's place in Mary's affections.

In the basilica of Steinfeld, the marble sarcophagus, you can read this statement: "Joseph Herman, and devoted husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary."

 

Later, he was ordained a priest, and became the director of several convents of sisters, for whom he wrote various treatises on piety and a commentary on the Canticle of Canticles. He also composed hymns, one being the first hymn in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. His works are: "A Commentary on the Canticle of Canticles", which is lost; "Opuscula" (new edition, Namur, 1899), including: "Duodecim gratiarum actiones"; "Jubilus seu Hymnus de SS. undecim millibus Virginibus"; "Oratio ad Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum", taken to a great extent from the Canticle of Canticles; "Alia Oratio"; "Precula de quinque Gaudiis B. Mariae V." It is not quite certain whether the last three are the works of Hermann, though they are generally ascribed to him.

 

His life was one of continuous penance, and he suffered strong temptations and physical illnesses. He was afflicted by incessant headaches that only ceased when he approached the altar to celebrate Mass. Their intensity used to increase with the approach of Feast Days. In a play on words, he used to say: Festa sunt mihi infesta ["the Feast Days are devastating for me"].

He had great sympathy for afflicted persons who always found in him a warm welcome and secure refuge.

April 7, 1241

The whole life of St. Herman was filled with visions and ecstasies. Until his last day he enjoyed a continuous familiarity with the supernatural. He had under his charge the spiritual welfare of the Cistercian nuns at Hoven, near Zulpich. (Here he died and was buried in the cloister.) Later his body was found incorrupt.

 

His body was later transferred to Steinfeld, where his marble tomb and large picture may be seen to the present day; portions of his relics are at Cologne and at Antwerp. He is represented in art as kneeling before a statue of the Virgin and Child and offering an apple.

1626

The process of his canonization was begun at the request of Archbishop Ferdinand of Cologne and the Emperor Ferdinand II, but was interrupted. His feast was, however, celebrated on April 7th, and the name of Blessed Hermann is in the Premonstratensian supplement to the Roman Martyrology. They also celebrate the translation of his relics on May 24th.

1958

His status as a saint was confirmed by Pope Pius XII. (The Salvatorian fathers who are currently in Steinfeld opted to perform this less costly and involved process—Confirmatio Cultus—rather than to carry out a full canonization process.) His current feast day on the calendar of the diocese of Cologne is May 21.

Description of the Virgin

The mystical marriage between Herman and the Holy Virgin Mary was one night in 1190: while in church, absorbed in his prayers, he suddenly saw before him the Virgin Mary, unspeakably beautiful, wearing a beautiful dress of bright colors and was accompanied by two Angels. Ermanno heard one of two angels say a few words directed to another: "With whom should we marry the mother of God?". The other replied: "Who else if not with this brother?". Then, placing his right hand in the hand of Our Lady, told him: "I commit this Lady as wife, and therefore I will call you Joseph."

Messages

According to legend, one time when he arrived at the church and saw the Queen of Heaven in great splendor in the choir. At her side were two children, St. John the Baptist and the Christ Child playing together. As Herman stood contemplating the scene, the Virgin called to him. He swiftly climbed the steps of presbytery, but the grilled gate to the choir was closed and locked.

“I cannot reach you,” he said to Mary, “the grill is locked and there is no ladder for me to climb over it.”

The Holy Virgin then directed him where to put his hands and feet in order to climb over the grill. Doing this, he entered the choir and she told him to join the Christ Child and St. John in play.

On another occasion on a cold winter day he came barefoot to the church to pray. As he approached the statue of Our Lady, she asked him: “Why are you barefoot on this cold day?” He answered: “Because I don’t have shoes.” She told him to look under a certain stone in the church where he would find enough money for a pair of shoes.


Miracles, Cures, and Signs


When St. Herman's body was translated from Hoven to Steinfeld, it was found to be incorruptible.


Approval

These apparitions were never investigated by ecclesial authorities and enjoy traditional approval.

The process of St. Herman's canonization was begun at the request of Archbishop Ferdinand of Cologne and the Emperor Ferdinand II, but was interrupted. His feast was, however, celebrated on April 7th, and the name of Blessed Hermann is in the Premonstratensian supplement to the Roman Martyrology. They also celebrate the translation of his relics May 24th. His status as a saint was confirmed by Pope Pius XII. (The Salvatorian fathers who are currently in Steinfeld opted to perform this less costly and involved process—Confirmatio Cultus—rather than to carry out a full canonization process.) His current feast day on the calendar of the diocese of Cologne is May 21.


References

Timmermans, Vie du b. Herman Joseph (Lille and Paris, 1900)

Franz Philip Kaulen, Legende von dem seligen Hermann Joseph (Mainz, 1880)

Michael, Geschichte des deutsch. Volkes, III,211

Posl, Leben des sel. Hermann Joseph (Ratisbon, 1862)

Deissel, Gesch. der Verehr. Mariens in Deutschl. (Freiburg im Br., 1909)

Goovaerts, Ecriv. de l'Ordre de Premontre (Brussels, 1899).

Herbermann, Charles, ed (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.

Wikipedia - Hermann Joseph: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herman_Joseph

Tradition in Action - St. Herman Joseph, April 7
http://www.traditioninaction.org/SOD/j067sdHerman4-7.htm

 
   
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