Lives of Saints and Blesseds

February 17
St. Evermode of Ratzeburg, Bishop, * unknown, † February 17, 1178

After listening to a sermon of St. Norbert in Cambrai, Evermode joined the itinerant preacher in 1120 at a still youthful age. He became one of the most faithful disciples of Norbert; he presumably accompanied him to Antwerp, later to Magdeburg and remained his travelling companion until Norbert’s death. In the Premonstratensian monastery of Gottesgnaden near Magdeburg, which was founded by Norbert in 1131, Evermode served first as vice-provost and provisor, then from 1134 as provost. From 1138-1154 he was provost in Magdeburg and established four new monasteries: Havelberg, Jerichow, Quedlinburg and Pöhlde. In 1154 he was entrusted with the re-established diocese of Ratzeburg that had been destroyed in the uprising of the Wends in 1066. With the help of a few confreres whom he brought with him from Magdeburg, Bishop Evermode changed the already established cathedral chapter into a Premonstratensian chapter. Because of his successful missionary activity among the predominantly pagan Wends, he is also called the “Apostle of the Wends” and the “Light of Saxony”. His diocese was well organized. In Ratzeburg he began around 1165 with the building of the present cathedral as well as laying the foundation stone for the later city. Evermode died, old and frail, on February 17, 1178.

Relics: none available
Approbation of cult: March 20/April 12, 1728 by Benedict XIII.
Representation: as bishop, preacher to the Wends, with holy water sprinkler and shattered chain, with confreres at the death bed of St. Norbert.

Almighty eternal God, who made Your bishop St. Evermode a companion of St. Norbert and a faithful minister of Your house, we pray that we too, standing firm in our purpose, may be able to proclaim Your glory. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.