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December 24

St Irmina of Oehren - December 24

Saint Irmina of Oehren
Abbess
(Unknown – Around 716)

“I will have a husband not only richer and nobler, but the richest and noblest, — the Lord of all lords.”

Saint Irmina of Oehren

Her Early Years

Irmina (also known as Irma, Ermina, Hermione, and Ymena) was born in the 7th century. She was the daughter of Saint Dagobert II, the Merovingian king of Austrasia, and the Anglo-Saxon princess Matilda – making her a princess. Irmina belonged to the noble bloodline of the Merovingian dynasty. Her maternal grandfather was Saint Sigebert III of Austrasia. Her sister was Saint Adela of Pfalzel.

Bethrothed

Irmina was much grieved. When her father, to comfort her, said he would find her a richer and nobler husband, she said, “I will have a husband not only richer and nobler, but the richest and noblest, — the Lord of all lords.” Motivated by her profound love for God, Irmina made the decision to renounce the world and devoted herself to the religious life. Irmina became a nun and founded a Benedictine convent in the old castle of Oehren at Trier, Germany. This castle was a gift from her father, who supported her in her spiritual journey.

Later, Irmina she became its second Abbess. She was succeeded as Abbess by her sister, Saint Modesta.

Kind and Generous Benefactor

Irmina’s dedicated and generous spirit led her to become a benefactor to both Celtic and Saxon monks, providing them with essential support in their religious endeavors. Her charitable actions and kind-heartedness earned her a reputation as a devoted patroness of those in need. In the face of great adversity, Irmina’s faith remained resolute. At one point, an epidemic threatened to wipe out her entire community. However, through the intercessory prayers of Saint Willibrord of Echternach, the community was miraculously saved from this deadly plague. In gratitude for this great favor, Irmina bestowed the land at Echternach upon Saint Willibrord, where he later established the renowned abbey that came to bear his name. Historian Jamie Kreiner called the founding of the Abbey of Echternach “a co-operative venture” between Saint Willibrord and Irmina’s family.

Her Death

Irmina died around 716 at the Monastery at Weissenburg, Germany which was also founded by her father. In art, Irmina is represented with a church in her hand, signifying her status as a church founder, and with two angels above her head, carrying her soul to heaven.

Born :                    Unknown date in 7th Century in unknown location

Died:                     Around 716 in Weissenburg, Germany

Beatified:             Pre-Congregation

Canonized:          Pre-Congregation

Feast Day:           December 24

Patron Saint:      Diocese of Trier, Germany; Trier, Germany

Source:

Reflection 

Despite Saint Irmina of Oehren’s birth into nobility, she used her position and influence for the greater good. She lived a life of piety and virtue, demonstrating that nobility of character is more important than social status or wealth. She became a Benedictine nun and abbess of a Benedictine convent she founded in old castle of Oehren at Trier, Germany gifted from her father. Later, she gifted some land to support the work of Saint Willibrord at the Abbey of Echternach. Her example challenges us to use whatever gifts and resources we have been given to serve others and advance the Kingdom of God.

While you may not be a princess with a king as your father, like Saint Irmina of Oehren, we have the resource of time. How will you use your time today serving others in prayer or action to spread the Gospel?

Prayers

Saint Irmina of Oehren,

You, who as an Abbess, worked to spread the Church by founding the Benedictine convent in Oehren at Trier, Germany and by donating land for you and Saint Willibrord to found the Abbey of Echternach.

Intercede for us in prayer that we may be inspired by your example of charity and faith.

May we, like you, support the missionary efforts of the Church around the world through prayer and financial assistance, in whatever ways we can.

May we be humble servants of God and instruments of His love in the world.

Saint Irmina of Oehren, pray for us. Amen.

Saint Links 

America Needs Fatima – Saints Irmina and Adela

AnaStpaul – Saint of the Day – 24 December – Saint Irmina of Oehren (Died c 716)

Catholic Online – St. Irmina

CatholicSaints.Info – Book of Saints – Adela and Irmina by Monks of Ramsgate

Melanie Rigney – Irmina

Prayers and Petitions – Feast of Saint Irimina, Abbess – 24th December

Video Link

Saint Irmina of Oeren – December 24th – YouTube (OneDayOneSaint)