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Wednesday 06 December |
Saint of the Day: St. Nicholas of Myra
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And today we celebrate...Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day: Bl. Herman Contractus

Monastic Scholar and Composer of the Salve Regina



His life

+ Born in Swabia in 1013, Blessed Herman was paralyzed as a youth. For much of his life, he was known as Contractus (“the Crippled”). When he was seven years old, his father sent him to be educated by the monks at Reichenau where, despite his physical limitations, he was always known to be cheerful and friendly.

+ It was said that the Blessed Virgin appeared to Herman, asking if he would rather have health or knowledge. Herman chose knowledge.

+ Well-known in his day for his work in mathematics, astronomy, history, and music, he wrote both the words and the music of the Alma Redemptoris Mater, and, probably, the Salve Regina. Herman is also said to have made astronomical and musical instruments and he is credited with modifying the system of musical notation, introducing a new way of writing the notes themselves.

+ Blessed Herman professed vows as a monk at Reichenau in 1043 at the age of thirty. Always remembered as a model of patience and charity, and admired as “a wonder of the age,” Blessed Herman died at Reichenau in 1054.

For prayer and reflection

Sing to the LORD a new song,

his praise from the ends of the earth:

Let the sea and what fills it resound,

the coastlands, and those who dwell in them.

Let the wilderness and its cities cry out,

the villages where Kedar dwells;

Let the inhabitants of Sela exult,

and shout from the top of the mountains.

Let them give glory to the LORD,

and utter his praise in the coastlands.”—Isaiah 42:10-12

Spiritual bonus

On this day, the Church also remembers Blessed Marco Criado. A priest of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity (the Trinitarians), he was martyred by the Moors near La Peza, Spain, on September 25, 1569. Devotion to Blessed Marco was confirmed by the Holy See in 1899.


O God, who in your kindness called your servant blessed Herman to the following of Christ, grant, we pray, through his intercession, that, denying ourselves, we may hold fast to you with all our heart. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever Amen.

(from The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For a Monk)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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