dimanche 20 novembre 2016

Saint BERNWARD d'HILDESHEIM, fondateur et évêque

Saint Bernward

Évêque d'Hildesheim ( 1022)

Evêque d'Hildesheim, dans le Hanovre. Il secourut son peuple menacé par une invasion des Slaves et développa les sciences et les arts dans les monastères de son diocèse.

À Hildesheim en Saxe, l’an 1023, saint Bernward, évêque, qui défendit son peuple des incursions slaves et normandes, restaura, grâce à plusieurs synodes, la discipline du clergé et favorisa la vie monastique.

Martyrologe romain
SOURCE : http://nominis.cef.fr/contenus/saint/105/Saint-Bernward.html

20 novembre
Bernward est issu de la noblesse saxonne. Il passe son enfance auprès de son grand-père maternel, le comte palatin Adalbéron de Saxe, jusqu'à la mort de ce dernier. Il reçoit d'abord une éducation très complète au séminaire d'Hildesheim. Dès 987 il fait partie de la cour d'Otton II et de Théophano en tant que secrétaire et rédacteur des décrets impériaux. De 987 à 993 il exerce les fonctions de précepteur d'Otton III. en 993, l'archevêque de Mayence Willigis le consacre évêque d'Hildesheim. Amateur d'art, il ornera sa cathédrale de portes de bronze sculptées, et d'une abbaye consacrée à St Michel, que l'évêque concevait comme une représentation de la Jérusalem céleste et dont il voulait faire son mausolée. Il fit aussi enceindre le quartier de la cathédrale d'un rempart muni de douze tours (en partie conservé) comme un château fort et fit dresser plusieurs donjons à travers le pays pour le protéger des agressions des tribus slaves. Mais la vie spirituelle de son diocèse ainsi que la charité envers les pauvres lui tenaient à cœur.

Bernward consacra "son" abbaye, encore inachevée, le 29 septembre 1022. Il s'y fit moine le jour de la Saint-Martin (11 novembre) de la même année, et mourut le 20 novembre. Il fut inhumé dans la crypte de la chapelle du monastère.

Image of St. Bernward of Hildesheim

SOURCE : http://religion-orthodoxe.eu/article-saint-bernward-d-hildesheim-1022-89343257.html
Bernward of Hildesheim, OSB B (RM)

(also known as Berward)

Born c. 960; died at Hildesheim, 1022; canonized 1193 by Pope Celestine III. The Saxon Saint Bernward was ordained a priest by Saint Willigis in Mainz, and after serving as tutor and chaplain to Emperor Otto III was made bishop of Hildesheim in 993. His episcopate was disturbed by political and ecclesiastical troubles, including a seven-year dispute with Saint Willigis about the convent at Gandersheim.

Bernward is one of the most attractive figures of medieval Germany- -a German Saint Dunstan. He is primarily remembered as a patron of the arts. He himself excelled as an architect, sculptor, decorator, painter and metal-worker, and Hildesheim became famous for its 'school' of sacred art: the Bernward bronze doors, cross, column, and candlesticks are still there to testify to its achievements.

He was also responsible for building Saint Michael's abbey church at Hildesheim, which has been said to 'represent religious architecture in the absolute.'

He died "after having assumed the habit of Saint Benedict" (Butler- Thurston). In the crypt of this church Saint Bernward lies buried (Attwater, Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).

In art Saint Bernward is a bishop making a chalice using a goldsmith's hammer. Sometimes he also holds a short cross in his hand (Roeder). He is the patron of architects, goldsmiths, painters, and sculptors (Roeder).


Portes de Bernward, deux battants d'une même porte en bronze située dans le portail occidental de la cathédrale d'Hildesheim (Basse-Saxe), datant de 1015
Elles doivent leur nom à l'évêque Bernward d'Hildesheim qui les fit réaliser pour l'église Saint-Michel d'Hildesheim

St. Bernward

Thirteenth Bishop of Hildesheim, Germany, b. about the middle of the tenth century; d. 20 November, 1022. He claimed descent from a noble Saxon family, which counted among its members men of distinction in Church and State. His grandfather was Athelbero, Count Palatine of Saxony. Having lost his parents at an early age, he came under the care of his uncle Volkmar, Bishop of Utrecht, who entrusted his education to Thangmar, the pious and learned director of the cathedral school at Heidelberg. Under this master, Bernward made rapid progress in Christian piety as well as in the sciences and in the liberal and even mechanical arts. He became very proficient in mathematics, painting, architecture, and particularly in the manufacture of ecclesiastical vessels and ornaments of silver and gold. He completed his studies at Mainz, where he was ordained priest by Archbishop Willigis, Chancellor of the Empire (975-1011). He declined a valuable preferment in the diocese of his uncle, Bishop Volkmar, and chose to remain with his grandfather, Athelbero, to comfort him in his old age. Upon the death of the latter, in 987, he became chaplain at the imperial court, and was shortly afterwards appointed by the Empress-Regent Theophano, tutor to her son Otto III, then six years of age. The youthful emperor is known to have been a learned and religious prince, for which he was indebted in no small degree to his instructor.

Bernward remained at the imperial court until 993, when he was elected Bishop of Hildesheim. His long episcopate of nearly thirty years was prolific of great results for the Diocese of Hildesheim. Thangmar, his former tutor, who subsequently became his biographer, describes in eloquent terms, how the saint, after performing his episcopal functions in the cathedral, was wont to visit the various workshops connected with the cathedral school, and with his own hands manufactured gold and silver vessels for the enrichment of the altars. Under his direction arose numerous churches and other edifices, including even fortifications for the defence of his episcopal city against the invasions of the pagan Normans. As evidences of his skill in the practice of the mechanical arts there are still preserved in Hildesheim a cross of rich and exquisite workmanship, known as the "Bernward Cross", the famous Bernward column, with winding reliefs representing scenes from the life of Christ, two bronze doors of the Cathedral of Hildesheim, showing Scriptural scenes, and two candlesticks symbolic of Christ, the light of the world. A monument of his zeal and skill is St. Michael's abbey-church at Hildesheim — now Protestant — one of the most magnificent basilicas in Germany. His knowledge and practice of the arts were wholly employed in the service of the Church. A man of extraordinary piety, he was much given to prayer and the practice of mortification. Shortly before his death in 1022 he had himself invested with the Benedictine habit. He was canonized by Pope Celestine III in 1193. His feast occurs on 20 November.


Stimmen aus Maria Laach (1885), XXVIII; GFR RER, Papst Gregor VII, V, XXXIII, LIV; KUHN, Allgemeine Kunst-Geschichte, XIII.

Birkhaeuser, Jodoc Adolphe. "St. Bernward." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 20 Nov. 2016 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02513a.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Vivek Gilbert John Fernandez. Dedicated to Mary, Seat of Wisdom.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.

SOURCE : http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02513a.htm

Saint Bernward of Hildesheim

Also known as
  • Berward
  • Bernward

Member of a noble Saxon family. Grandson of Athelbero, Count Palatine of Saxony. Orphaned at an early age. Raised by his uncle Volkmar, bishop of Utrecht, and educated at the cathedral school at Heidelberg, where he was a schoolmate of Blessed Meinwerk of Paderborn and at Mainz. Ordained at Mainz. Imperial chaplain and tutor to the future Emperor Otto III beginning in 987. Bishop of Hildesheim, Germany from 993 till 1020. Encouraged the arts; commissioned religious paintings and sculpture, refurbished existing buildings, built new ones (thus his patronage of the builder’s arts), and made altar vessels of gold and silver by hand, and dabbled in architecture and ornamental ironwork. His rule was marked with peace, and around 1020 he retired to a Benedictine monastary to spend his remaining days in prayer.


SOURCE : http://catholicsaints.info/saint-bernward-of-hildesheim/

  • bishop making a chalice with a goldsmith‘s hammer
  • holding a short cross in his hand and surrounded by tools

San Bernoardo (Bernwardo) di Hildesheim Vescovo

Sassonia, ca. 960 - Hildesheim (Sassonia), 20 novembre 1022

Martirologio Romano: A Hildesheim nella Sassonia in Germania, san Bernvardo, vescovo, che difese il gregge dagli attacchi, rinnovò con numerosi sinodi la disciplina del clero e promosse la vita monastica.

Il vescovo metallurgico: si può chiamarlo anche così. Mentre studiava Scritture e dottrina della Chiesa, era attratto pure dall’arte di forgiare, fondere e modellare i metalli nelle fucine e botteghe artigiane di Hildesheim, forte centro di commerci nella Bassa Sassonia. Figlio di aristocratici, è nato quando il duca sassone Ottone diventava l’imperatore Ottone I, il più potente sovrano d’Europa. Dopo di lui, ha visto salire al trono suo figlio Ottone II, morto a Roma nel 983 dopo una sconfitta (per opera dei Saraceni) che ha rischiato di abbattere l’Impero. E poi, da giovane sacerdote, viene chiamato a corte come maestro del nuovo imperatore Ottone III, che è ancora un bambino. Un incarico di forte peso, motivato dalle buone doti che Bernoardo sta rivelando, e anche dalla sua stretta parentela con la grande nobiltà di Sassonia. 

E nel 992 eccolo nominato vescovo di Hildesheim, anche per la buona prova che ha dato come educatore a corte. Ora questa buona prova deve ripeterla assai più in grande: si tratta di consolidare tra la sua gente una fede che tanto solida veramente non è, in ogni parte del territorio. Due secoli prima, infatti, tra i Sassoni non sono arrivati i missionari a predicare: è arrivato Carlo Magno con l’esercito, “cristianizzando” la gente a mano armata, in massa; e il ricordo di tanta brutalità è durato a lungo. Per questo Bernoardo comincia col fondare monasteri, centri di evangelizzazione con la parola e l’esempio. 

È lui a introdurre nel territorio i primi benedettini. Poi fa ricorso all’arte figurativa, che parla anche a chi non sa leggere i libri della fede calligrafati dai suoi scriptores, con lui a guidarli. Chiama pittori, scultori, orafi della città, e altri ne fa arrivare col moltiplicarsi delle sue iniziative. Ma non è il “committente” che ordina e paga. Lui è “del mestiere” e ogni giorno passa nelle botteghe a seguire e a stimolare gli artisti. 

All’epoca, i sovrani tedeschi affidano a vari vescovi anche responsabilità civili e militari. Bernoardo, mentre innalza a Hildesheim il grande monastero di San Michele, partecipa anche a spedizioni militari, fortifica la sua città e altri luoghi del territorio diocesano.
E negli anni 1000-1001 è in Italia per fronteggiare una rivolta, al fianco dell’imperatore Ottone III, che ha 18 anni e morirà prima dei 20. 

Il monastero di San Michele è infine ultimato nel 1022, poche settimane prima della sua morte. E lì Bernoardo viene sepolto. Hildesheim conserva tuttora alcune opere d’arte realizzate per suo impulso. Come le porte di bronzo destinate a San Michele e assegnate poi alla cattedrale; l’imponente “collana di Bernoardo” in bronzo, il suo crocifisso d’argento, la Bibbia e l’Evangeliario miniati. Nel 1150 Bernoardo è stato canonizzato localmente dal vescovo del tempo. Nel dicembre 1193 il papa Celestino III lo ha proclamato santo.

Autore: Domenico Agasso 
SOURCE : http://www.santiebeati.it/Detailed/91805.html