Bishop Godehard

Godehard became direct follower of bishop Bernward, we know quite good about his life and acting by different literary origins.

Godehard was born – like Bernward – about 960 and was educated in the Bavarian Benedictine monastery Niederaltaich by the archbishop of Salzburg. Godehard became abbot of the monastery in 996 and reformed it in the sense of the principles of the hl. Benedikt, the same way he reformed the monasteries of Tegernsee and Hersfeld. He was consecrated bishop of Hildesheim in the Groner Pfalzkapelle (near Göttingen) on 2 December 1022.

About bishop Godehard’s moral conduct you can read in “Vita Godehardi prior”: “He upraised himself for a prayer every night and woke the rest of the night til the begin of the morning prayer while being in his psalm prayer. Afterwards he attended the holy Mass, he often sang along the Mass, then went to the uncountable workers, who he employed in the different branches of the bustles; he often sat with them to encourage them and to control their diligence. With devotion he ensured the education of the clericals in reading, reciting, singing, writing and drawing… Enough and to spare he did almsgiving; he provided public funds to maintain the innumerable crowd of paupers. Wherever a celebration of the saints in the diocese was or a commemoration day of church consecration, Godehard went there with open-hearted delight, to behove his favourite activitiy, in particular to benefit the peoples’ souls through the annunciation of the word of God. His preaches always were about the love of God and the brethren, about preservation the faith and about christian change,…”.

Bishop Godehard died in St. Mauritiusstift (near Hildesheim), which he founded on 5 May 1038 and is buried in the Hildesheim cathedral. Worshipping on him began early, his official acceptance by church is dated on 29 October 1131. As distinguished from hl. Bernward hl. Godehard was and is worshipped in whole Europe: more than 400 churches, chapels and other institutions share his name. Commemoration day of hl. Godehard ist 5 May.