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About Saint Henry

(973 - 1024)

Every year on July 13, we celebrate the feast of the Patron Saint of our Church.  This remarkable saint, Henry, was a king of Germany and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

Born in 973 to Henry the Duke of Bavaria, Germany, and his wife Gisela of Burgundy, he succeeded his father as Duke of Bavaria in 995.  Upon the death of his cousin, Otto III, in 1002, he succeeded him as the King or Emperor.  Pope Benedict VIII crowned him Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 1014.  King Henry and his wife, Cunegunda, had no children.

Our Lord, the King of kings, used his contact and studies with Saint Wolfgang of Regensburg to make Henry deeply interested in His Church.  He knew how to use his royal and temporal powers to serve the nations and how to lay them at the feet of his Lord and King.  This is why he was renowned as a just ruler, a man of prayer who lived a quasi-monastic life.

In 1006 he founded the See of Bamberg and built its great Cathedral that was consecrated by Pope Benedict VIII in 1020.  During this time also, Henry established a monastery at Bamberg and supported the reforms initiated by the monks of Cluny in France.

He died near Gottingen, Germany, in 1024, and was buried at the great Cathedral of Bamberg where also his saintly wife was buried.  Henry was canonized a saint in 1146 and his feast day is July 13.

Lord, you filled Saint Henry with your love and raised him from the cares of an earthly kingdom to eternal happiness in heaven.  In the midst of the changes of this world, may his prayers keep us free from sin and help us on our way toward you.  Grant this in the name of Jesus the Lord, Amen.
(Roman Missal)
 

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