Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Tuesday 18 June |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Rainier of Pisa
Aleteia logo
Spirituality
separateurCreated with Sketch.

The hermit who became the martyr of hospitality

Meinrad

Joanne McPortland

Daniel Esparza - published on 03/24/24

Meinrad graciously attended to the needs of all who visited him, both physical and spiritual, often sharing any gifts he received with the poor.

Born into a noble family in the late 8th century, Meinrad of Hohenzollern (better known as Meinrad of Einsiedeln) chose a path of monastic solitude and devotion. Educated at the Benedictine abbey of Reichenau, he went on to serve as a monk and priest before seeking a life as a hermit, driven by a call to devote himself entirely to contemplation and prayer.

With a miraculous statue of the Virgin Mary bestowed upon him by a nearby Abbess, Meinrad established his hermitage on the slopes of Etzel Pass around the year 829. There, he embraced a life of strict asceticism, inspired by the spiritual practices of the Desert Fathers. Despite his desire for solitude, Meinrad’s reputation for wisdom and holiness spread, drawing many to seek his counsel and prayers.

Meinrad’s unwavering hospitality became central to his life and legacy. He graciously attended to the needs of all who visited him, both physical and spiritual, often sharing any gifts he received with the poor. Such was his devotion to welcoming others that he would later be honored with the title “Martyr of Hospitality.”

Tragedy struck in 861 when two robbers, believing Meinrad possessed hidden treasures, murdered the benevolent hermit. Meinrad’s selfless nature, even in the face of evil, solidified his place as a revered figure in the Catholic and Orthodox traditions. Though initially buried at Reichenau, his relics were later returned to Einsiedeln, where they rest within the Abbey founded in his honor.

The legacy of St. Meinrad is intimately tied to Einsiedeln Abbey, a thriving pilgrimage site that draws the faithful from around the world. The Black Madonna of Einsiedeln, Meinrad’s cherished statue, remains a focal point in the Abbey, a reminder of his humble origins and the transformative power of hospitality.

Tags:
EuropeMonksSaintsTraditions
Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Aleteia-Pilgrimage-300×250-1.png
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.