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April 3

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Saint Liutberga of Windenhausen
Mother of the Poor
(9th Century – Around 870)

“But having no malice toward them, we put our care in the Lord’s hand, like the prophet and he feeds us. Nor will he throw the just to the flood but will keep them from the works of the wicked.”

Saint Liutberga of Windenhausen

Saint’s Life Story

Her Early Life  

Liutberga, also known as Luitburg, was born in the 9th century into a noble family in Solszburg in the area of Sulzgau, Bavaria (in modern Germany). She was believed to be related to Duke Hessi of Ostfalen. Little information is known of her youth. Her life story, Life of Liutberga, was written by a monk of Halberstadt, who was so impressed by her piety that he wrote a biography of her soon after her death to preserve her memory for future generations.

Liutberga was first noticed for her talent and intelligence by Gisla who was the eldest daughter of the Saxon count, Hesse, and the widow of Unwan. Gisla had a son, Bernard, and two daughters, Bilihild and Hruothild, who founded convents after the death of their husbands. Hruothild was a nun running the convent at Karolsbach and Bilihild ran the convent at Windenhausen where Liutberga was staying. Gisla, herself, in widowhood led a religious life, building many churches and giving alms and caring for pilgrims.

Gisla’s Adopted Daughter

When Gisla was travelling on business, because she had to care for possessions in many different places, she arrived at a certain place where the hour forced her to request hospitality. It was here that Liutberga was serving Gisla and got her attention. Liutberga seemed to excel when compared to the others of her age in form and intelligence. So, Gisla swore under divine witness that Liutberga would remain with Gisla as her own adopted daughter.

Liutberga was highly regarded for her exceptional skills in managing all of Gisla’s estates and houses. However, it was her dedication to helping the poor and caring for the sick and dying that truly set her apart. Throughout her life, Liutberga would travel from estate to estate, tending to the needy and offering her almsgiving. Her days were filled with managing the estates and providing much-needed support to those less fortunate. Yet, even amidst her busy schedule, Liutberga would spend her nights deeply immersed in prayer and spiritual reflection, seeking solace and guidance from God.

An Anchoress

On Gisla’s deathbed, she made her son, Bernard, vow to take care of Liutberga because of her vow to her. For a long time, Liutberga remained in the Bernard’s house according to Gisla’s request taking care of his home and family. As she grew older, Liutberga felt a calling to a more contemplative life.

With the approval of Bishop Thiatgrim von Halberstadt, she retired to the convent at Windenhausen (Wendhausen), Germany, the convent founded by Gisla’s daughter, Bilihild. There, she chose to live as an anchoress, a devout individual who sought a solitary life of prayer and penance. Liutberga’s cell was located next to the church, where she would spend the remainder of her days.

Even in her secluded life, Liutberga’s reputation for wisdom and spiritual training remained well known. People from all walks of life, whether rich or poor, lay or ordained, would seek her guidance and seek solace in her presence. Her ability to share her wisdom and provide spiritual guidance attracted many to her side. One extraordinary aspect of Liutberga’s life was her reported gift of prophecy. Believers often consulted her for insights into the future, and her predictions were known to be remarkably accurate.

Death

Liutberga died around the year 870 in Thale near Magdeburg in Saxony-Anhalt (in modern Germany) on April 3rd. She was an extremely religious and well-respected woman and was given an honored burial in the church.

Born :                  9th century in Solszburg in the area of Sulzgau, Bavaria (in Germany)

Died:                   April 3 around 870 in Thale near Magdeburg in Saxony-Anhalt (in Germany)

Beatified:           Pre-Congregation

Canonized:        Pre-Congregation

Feast Day:         April 3; January 1, February 28, May 31, or December 30 on some calendars

Patron Saint:    None

Source:

Reflection

Saint Liutberga of Windenhausen shows us yet another way to sainthood as she was basically an executive housekeeper for Gisla. Throughout their travels together, Liutberga was a honest, wise, and hard worker, generous in almsgiving, pious and cared for the sick and the dying.

Whether you live in an apartment or a house, there is always housekeeping required. When you do your housekeeping today, offer this work up to God as “holy moment” to help you become more saint like in all your other actions to all you meet today.

Prayers

Saint Liutberga of Windenhausen,

You who offered up your life in taking care of others, both rich and poor,

May you intercede for me as I pray for the strength to do the physical and spiritual daily housekeeping necessary in prayer and action to draw closer to Jesus.

Saint Liutberga of Windenhausen, pray for us. Amen.

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