The Blessed Herman †1054

The Blessed Herman is a pre-schism western Christian who is has been canonized as a Saint in the Roman Catholic Church. He is also counted by them to be an intercessor for those with disabilities: Blessed Herman the Disabled.

He wrote hymns which are still sung today. I have heard one of his hymns, Salve Regina, in a Western Rite Antiochian Orthodox Christian Vespers service. If we count his hymns as worthy of inclusion in our worship, we surely recognize his sanctity. Out of a good heart comes good fruit, our Lord Jesus said.

Here is a poem about him, by William Hart Hurlbut, M.D.:

I am least among the low,
I am weak and I am slow;
I can neither walk nor stand,
Nor hold a spoon in my own hand.

Like a body bound in chain,
I am on a rack of pain,
But He is God who made me so,
that His mercy I should know.

Brothers do not weep for me!
Christ, the Lord, has set me free.
All my sorrows he will bless;
Pain is not unhappiness.

From my window I look down
To the streets of yonder town,
Where the people come and go,
Reap the harvest that they sow.

Like a field of wheat and tares,
Some are lost in worldly cares;
There are hearts as black as coal,
There are cripples of the soul.

Brothers do not weep for me!
In his mercy I am free.
I can neither sow nor spin,
Yet, I am fed and clothed in Him.

I have been the donkey’s tail,
Slower than a slug or snail;
You my brothers have been kind,
Never let me lag behind.

I have been most rich in friends,
You have been my feet and hands;
All the good that I could do,
I have done because of you.

Oh my brothers, can’t you see?
You have been as Christ for me.
And in my need I know I, too,
Have become as Christ for you!

I have lived for forty years
In this wilderness of tears;
But these trials can’t compare
With the glory we will share.

I have had a voice to sing,
To rejoice in everything;
Now Love’s sweet eternal song
Breaks the darkness with the dawn.

Brother’s do not weep for me!
Christ, the Lord, has set me free.
Oh my friends, remember this:
Pain is not unhappiness.

I discovered this poem in  Father Benedict J Groeschel book, Stumbling Blocks or Stepping Stones, by the producers of the weblog Unborn Word of the Day:

http://unbornwordoftheday.com/2007/10/02/blessed-herman-a-poem/

 … Apparently afflicted with cleft palate, spina bifida, and cerebral palsy, Herman was born in Swabia, into the house of Althausen. Shocked that their son was nearly helpless due to the huge number of physical disabilities that were obvious at his birth, his parents gave him into the care of the abbey of Reichenau where he lived for forty years.  Becoming a monk himself, Herman used his brilliant mind to write a long, unfinished poem of deadly sins and a mathematical-astronomical treatise as well as two well known anthems to Our Lady, “Alma Redemptoris Mater” and “Salve Regina.”

The source of this profile:  http://www.penitents.org/prolifeprayer.html#Patron_Saints_of_Children_with_Disabilities

See also:  http://catholicexchange.com/2009/09/25/97066/   http://www.irondequoitcatholic.org/index.php/Bl/HermannTheDisabled   http://unbornwordoftheday.com/2007/09/24/another-pro-life-saint-good-we-need-him/

Profiles of the two famous western hymns that Blessed Herman wrote: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salve_Regina  & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alma_Redemptoris_Mater 

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