Lives of Saints and Blesseds

November 14
St. Siard, Abbot, * unknown, † November 13, 1230

Siard came from a noble Frisian family and studied in the monastery school of Mariengaarde, where St. Frederick was abbot at that time. It was here that probably before 1175 he asked for admittance into the novitiate. After 20 years of life in the monastery he was elected as the fifth abbot of Mariengaarde. Nothing in his daily behavior distinguished him from his confreres, neither habit nor food and living conditions. Therefore as a good leader he directed his monastery on the material as well as the spiritual level. Mariengaarde became a flourishing abbey. Whenever Siard went on a journey he always took along a large basket of bread in order to share his provisions with the poor. He had the charism to be able to pacify hatred and reconcile feuding parties. Siard companioned his confreres in their manual labor, especially in the fields. Under the direction of their abbot the Premonstratensians of Mariengaarde recited the psalms while they harvested. To the confreres who had to leave the house he wished them three things: a happy journey, a peaceful stay and a good return. After 36 years as abbot, Siard ended his earthly journey on November 13, 1230.

Relics: Tongerlo, Windberg and Leffe
Approbation of cult: January 22/March 8, 1728 by Benedict XIII.
Representation: as an abbot, handing out bread from a basket to the poor and pilgrims, with a scourge, cross and palm of victory.

God, who made Your saints to obey the Gospel as an example for many; grant, we beseech You, that we may imitate the cheerful goodness and devout piety of the blessed abbot Siard. 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.