Ludolph was a Premonstratensian canon in the episcopal church at Ratzeburg
and for some time held the office of provisor there. In 1236 he was appointed
bishop of Ratzeburg. He lived such a strict cloistered life with his confreres
in the shadow of the cathedral that the monastery had the nickname “carcer
ordinis” (prison of the Order). Ludolph put his entire energy into the
service of the church, in that he preached and undertook pastoral visits. He
is considered the co-founder of the monastery of Rehna in Mecklenburg. Pope
Innocent IX entrusted him likewise with several political missions. His most
difficult test as bishop must have been the conflicts with state authorities.
Prince Albert of Saxsony-Lauenburg, the “Bear of Saxony”, took over
several properties that belonged to the cathedral. Ludolph put up resistance,
at which Albert had him thrown into prison and tortured. Conscious of the unpopularity
of this action, Ludolph was released after a long imprisonment. He was brought
to Prince John of Mecklenburg where he found refuge with the Franciscans of
Wismar. Ludolph died on March 29, 1250 as a consequence of his imprisonment.
He is venerated as a martyr for the rights and freedom of the Church.
Approbation of cult: March 20/April 12, 1728 by Benedict XIII.
Representation: as bishop, healing a young man with arrows in his head, in prison, with instruments of torture (rack, whip, axe, lance, sword and tackle hook) and palm of victory, with the appearance of Evermode and Isfried.