Lives of Saints and Blesseds

May 24
St. Herman Joseph, * c. 1150, † presumably April 4, 1241

Herman from the City of Cologne already entered the Premonstratensian monastery of Steinfeld around 1162 as a youth. He was sent to Mariengaarde in Friesland for his studies. After his ordination to the priesthood, the great devotee of Mary tended to the spiritual care of sisters’ communities as well as duties in the sacristy and refectory of the abbey. While tending to this handwork he developed an extraordinary interior life and received mystical graces. Herman, admired because of his visions and ecstasies, but also mocked and tormented by illness, received the nickname “Joseph” from Mary in a mystical marriage. The canon of Steinfeld composed several hymns in honor of the Mother of God, a commentary on the Song of Songs and poetry about St. Ursula and her companions – all in emotional style which made him a truly talented person. Herman Joseph is one of the first who expressly honored the heart of Jesus and indeed in an authentic mysticism which was nourished from Holy Scripture. In addition to his attitude toward penance, humility and deep spirituality, he was also well known for his skill in making and repairing clocks. During Lent 1241 the elderly Herman went to the nearby convent of Cistercian nuns at Hoven near Zülpich, where he died on Easter Thursday (presumably on April 4, 1241).

Relics: Steinfeld
Approbation of cult: January 22/March 8, 1728 by Benedict XIII and August 11, 1958 by Pius XII. Representation: as a Premonstratensian with Mary and the Child Jesus, with apple, lily, chalice with roses, chalice, key and writing instruments, as a child extending an apple to the child Jesus, at the mystical betrothal with Mary (handing over a ring),
at a vision of the heart of Jesus.

O God, who promised Your kingdom to little children, grant that following in the path of St. Herman Joseph we may hasten cheerfully and humbly to heavenly joy. 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.