Lives of Saints and Blesseds

February 4
St. Frederick of Mariengaarde, Abbot, * unknown, † March 3, 1175

Frederick was the son of a poor widow from Hallum (near Leeuwarden/Friesland). Very early his vocation to the priesthood was recognized. He received instruction in Latin until he was able to begin the study of Holy Scripture in Münster. After finishing successfully, he worked first as a teacher before he was ordained to the priesthood. Afterwards he served as vicar and later as pastor of Hallum. His goal was to establish a hospital there as well as to found a monastery. After he had lived for a period of time with the Premonstratensians of Marienweerd in order to train himself in monastic life, he gathered some companions around him and along with them in 1163 founded the abbey of Mariengaarde dedicated to the Mother of God. At first men and women lived there together, but later the Premonstratensian nuns moved to neighboring Bethlehem (today: Bartlehiem). Frederick remained abbot, pastor of Hallum and rector of Bethlehem in a personal union. While in the Premonstratensian convent of Bethlehem, Frederick fell ill and returned to Hallum. Here he celebrated his last Mass in the same church in which he had also celebrated his first Mass. After the liturgy he returned to the abbey where he died on March 3, 1175 surrounded by his confreres.

Relics: Leffe
Approbation of cult: January 22/March 8, 1728 by Benedict XIII.
Representation: as an abbot, founder and builder, with flowers in his hands and an
image of Mary..

Grant, we beseech You, Almighty God, that poor in spirit after the example of Your abbot St. Frederick, we may imitate Him who handed Himself over for the salvation of the world: Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.