jeudi 22 décembre 2016

Bienheureuse JUTTA (JUDITH) de SPONHEIM (de DISIBODENBERG), abbesse bénédictine

Hildegarde de Bingen, âgée de huit ans, rencontre Jutta von Sponheim à l'abbaye de Disibodenberg

Sainte Judith

Bénédictine au Disibodenberg ( 1260)

ou Jutta von Sangerhausen. 

Originaire de Thuringe et devenue précocement veuve, elle quitta son pays et sa parenté pour rejoindre son frère qui était grand maître de l'Ordre Teutonique. Elle passa le reste de sa vie près de lui, à Kulmsee*, dans l'exercice des bonnes œuvres. Elle y fonda un hôpital et un monastère.
*aujourd'hui la ville polonaise de Chlemza.

Elle est patronne de la Prusse.

Paroisse sainte Jutta, 06526 Sangerhausen - en allemand

Jutta de Sponheim


Cette vierge était la fille des comtes Stephan et Sophia de Sponheim, et naquit vers 1092.
Stephan mourut trois ans après cette naissance et Sophia s’occupa de l’éducation de ses deux enfants, Jutta et son frère Hugo, qui devint archevêque de Cologne.

Jutta (Judith) eut à douze ans une maladie si grave, que sa guérison apparut comme un miracle, et amena Jutta à promettre de consacrer sa vie à Dieu, de sorte qu’elle refusa toutes les propositions de mariage qu’on lui fit par la suite.

A quatorze ans, contre l’avis de ses proches, elle fit sa consécration dans les mains de l’archevêque de Mayence. D’après une relation ancienne, elle reçut d’abord sa formation spirituelle d’une pieuse veuve qui s’appelait Uda de Göllheim ; avec Jutta se trouvaient aussi sa parente, Hildegard de Bingen, alors âgée de huit ans (voir au 17 septembre) et une autre jeune fille.

A la date probable du 1er novembre 1112, quand elle eut vingt ans, elle se retira non loin de l’église du Disibodenberg, où elle s’occupa de l’instruction des enfants. Hildegarde, qui avait alors quatorze ans, la suivit, et deux autres jeunes filles aussi.

Ce fut là le point de départ d’un couvent de religieuses bénédictines qui, avec celui des Bénédictins de l’endroit, forma un double monastère.

Quand Jutta mourut, en 1136, c’est Hildegarde qui lui succéda comme supérieure de cette communauté. Elle en écrivit alors que Dieu l’arrosa de sa grâce comme d’un ruisseau aux eaux abondantes, de sorte qu’elle n’accorda aucun repos à son corps par ses veilles, ses jeûnes et d’autres bonnes œuvres, jusqu’à ce qu’elle achevât d’une digne fin sa vie terrestre.

Parmi ces «bonnes œuvres» sont rapportées celle du changement de l’eau en vin qu’aurait opéré Jutta, ainsi que celle d’avoir traversé à pieds secs le Glan, la rivière locale.

Son frère Hugo mourut l’année suivante (1137).

On parla d’apparitions au tombeau de Jutta. L’Ordre bénédictin la vénère comme bienheureuse, au 22 décembre, mais elle n’a pas été insérée dans le Martyrologe.


Blessed Jutta of Disibodenberg, OSB, Abbess (AC)

(also known as Judith)

Born in Germany; died 1136. Jutta was the sister of Meginhard, Count Palatine of Spanheim. The saint retired to a cell near the monastery-church of Disenberg (Disibodi Mons). Soon a group of dedicated Christian women gathered around her and she formed them into a Benedictine community of which she was abbess for 20 years. Entrusted to the care of Jutta was a weak girl who was to become one of Germany's greatest mystics, Saint Hildegard of Bingen. Jutta taught the young girl to read Latin, cared for her physical needs, and taught her hymns and the Psalms.

When Jutta died in 1136, Hildegard became prioress in her place. Hildegard added her own testimony to Jutta's goodness. 'Jutta was like a river with many tributaries,' she wrote, 'overflowing with the grace of God. Until the very moment that a joyful death freed her from this mortal life, she never ceased to fast, pray, and wait on God, keeping her body under control by many acts of penance.' Countless men and women of the region continued to venerate Jutta's memory and visit her tomb (Benedictines, Bentley, Encyclopedia).

Blessed Jutta of Disibodenberg

Also known as
  • Jutta of Spamheim
  • Jutta of Sponheim
  • Judith….

Born to the German nobility, the sister of Count Megenhard of Spanheim. On 1 November 1106 she took up life as a hermitess, living in a small house near the Disibodenberg Abbey of Saint Disibod in the Rhineland (in modern Germany). She taught local children for a living, including Saint Hildegard of Bingen much of whose great learning can be attributed to Jutta. Jutta gained a reputation for spirituality and devotion to God, and attracted many young female followers who grew into a Benedictine convent. Jutta served as their abbess from 1116 until her death 20 years later, at which point Saint Hildegard took over.

  • c.1084 in Spanheim, Rhineland-Palatinate (in modern Germany

On this day: Blessed Jutta, OSB

On this day in 1136, the Benedictine Abbess Jutta died at Disibodenberg.

"Jutta was like a river with many tributaries, overflowing with the grace of God." --Hildegard of Bingen

Jutta, anchoress and foundress of the women's cloister at Disibodenberg, and spiritual mother to Hildegard, was born to Count Stephan II of Sponheim and his wife Sophia of Formbach in 1092.

Her father died when she was three, and she was "nurtured with great care by her widowed mother". At the age of twelve when "she was laid low by a severe illness, . . . she vowed to God that if she survived she would undertake a holy way of life". After recovering, the beautiful girl had many suitors. "Many nobles and wealthy landowners were coming to her, even from far-off places, panting to be joined to her in the marriage union."

Jutta & Hildegard: The Biographical Sources, by Anna Silvas, Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999. 

Jutta kept her vow, and at the age of twenty, with two companions, she was enclosed as an anchoress attached to the monastery at Disibodenberg. 

Throughout her religious life, Jutta practiced extraordinary penance and became known as a healer. "Through her consoling words, many were restored from all kinds of wretched conditions." She was so renowned for her wisdom that "all those from round about of whatever rank, nobles or common people, rich or poor, pilgrims or tenants, were asking only after the anchoress, the lady Jutta; they waited on her alone as on a heavenly oracle".

On December 2, 1136, Jutta had a vision of a saint beloved by the Germans. "Do not be afraid, for I am Oswald, once king of the English people, and I have now come to you, that I might let you know the day of your departure, which you have obtained today from the Lord by your daily prayers."

For the next twenty days, suffering with fever, Jutta comforted her ten disciples. She received Viaticum almost every day, and on December 22, she died. Hildegard and two other disciples prepared her body for burial. 

Hildegard succeeded Jutta as abbess, and when she left Disibodenberg to found her own convent at Rupertsberg, it was with the financial assistance of Jutta's brother, Count Meinhard.


On this day at Vespers, we sing: O King of the Gentiles and the Desired of all, you are the cornerstone that binds two into one. Come and save man whom you fashioned out of clay.


Until I read somewhere else today, I never heard of Blessed Jutta of Disibodenberg (c. 1084-1136), a German noble woman, an anchoress, and the teacher of children, especially Saint Hildegaard of Bingen.
Blessed Jutta’s history says that taught female students from wealthy families at her hermitage. She taught and raised them all, most notably the child Hildegard of Bingen.
Jutta was known for her sanctity and her life of extraordinary penance; Justta was known as a healer.
On the Day of All Saints, November 1, 1112, Hildegard was given over as a Benedictine oblate into the care of Jutta. It was Jutta who taught Hildegard to write; to read the psalms used in the Liturgy;  to chant the recitation of the Canonical hours. She probably also taught Hildegard to play the zither-like string instrument called the psaltery.
Saint Hildegaard of Bingen, succeeded Jutta as abbess; Benedict XVI named Hildegard a Doctor of the Church and we would make the claim that she owes her fundamental knowledge of life to Blessed Jutta. Let us pray for those who were our first teachers of life and faith.