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Saint Bernward of Hidesheim
Saint Bernward of Hidesheim

Saint Bernward of Hidesheim

Feast Day
Nov 20, 2012
<p>St. Bernward was born in 960, from a Saxon noble family and studied at the Cathedral school at Hildesheim, and grew up to be the Bishop of Hildesheim.&nbsp; He served as a scribe and chronicler at the court of Otto II.&nbsp; He and the future Pope Sylvester II were in charge of the young Emperor Otto III.&nbsp; Hildesheim was the center of power in the Holy Roman Empire in his time, and he was determined to give his city an image fitting for their power.&nbsp; He revived a classical precedent, by having his name stamped on roof tiles made under his direction. &nbsp;</p> <p>One of the most famous examples of this ambition is a set of cast bronze doors known as the Bernward doors, now installed at St. Mary&rsquo;s Cathedral.&nbsp; They were sculpted with scenes of the &ldquo;Fall of Man&rdquo; &ndash; Adam and Eve, and the &ldquo;Salvation of Man&rdquo; &ndash; Life of Christ.&nbsp; Another importance of Bernward&rsquo;s intentions is the pillar kept at the Cathedral of Hildesheim, a cast bronze column with images of the deeds of Christ.&nbsp; St. Bernward was instrumental in early Romanesque construction.&nbsp; A famous one is St. Michael&rsquo;s Church, and it was completed after his death.&nbsp; He is buried in the western crypt. &nbsp;</p> <p>The projects of St. Bernward&rsquo;s are listed today on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.&nbsp; He built up the Cathedral district with a strong twelve-towered wall and erected further forts in the countryside to protect against attacks by the neighboring Slavic peoples.&nbsp; Beyond this effort of his, inner spiritual struggles of his diocese and aiding the poor were always closest to his heart.&nbsp; He died on November 20, 1022, a few weeks after the consecration of the magnificent Church of St. Michael, which he had built.&nbsp; Pope Celestine III canonized him.&nbsp; St. Bernward&rsquo;s Church in Hildesheim and St. Bernward&rsquo;s Chapel in Klein Dungen, which dates from the 13<sup>th</sup> Century, are named after him. &nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>Practical Take Away</strong></span></p> <p>St. Bernward was a Bishop in Hildesheim, and was famous for his work in the early Romanesque construction of our Church.&nbsp; He worked hard to build up the Cathedrals and Church architect, many of which can be seen today.&nbsp; Some of his work from the 13<sup>th</sup> century can be seen today at the St. Bernward&rsquo;s Chapel in Klein Dungen.&nbsp; Although he is known for this great work, his heart was poured into spirituality and aiding the poor of his diocese. &nbsp;</p>