Gotthard was born in 960 at Reichersdorf (Ritenbach) near Niederaltaich in the diocese of Passau. His father was Ratmund, a vassal of the canons of Niederaltaich Abbey. Gotthard was educated at this place, studying the humanities as well as theology, under the guidance of a teacher named Uodalgisus.Gotthard then resided at the archiepiscopal court of Salzburg, where he served as an ecclesiastical administrator. After traveling in various countries, including Italy, Gotthard completed his advanced studies under the guidance of Liutfrid in the cathedral school at Passau. He then joined the canons at Niederaltaich in 990, and became their provost in 996. When Henry II of Bavaria decided to transform the chapter house of Niederaltaich into a Benedictine monastery, Gotthard remained, as a novice, and then became a monk in 990 under the abbot Ercanbert. In 993, he was ordained a priest, and also became a prior and rector of the monastic school. In 996, he was elected abbot and introduced the Cluniac reforms at Niederaltaich. He helped revive the Rule of St. Benedict, which then provided abbots for the abbeys of Tegernsee, Hersfeld and Kremsmünster to restore Benedictine observance, under the patronage of Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor. He became bishop of Hildesheim on December 2, 1022, being consecrated by Aribo, Archbishop of Mainz. During the fifteen years of his episcopal government, he won the respect of his clergy. Gotthard ordered the construction of some thirty churches. Despite his advanced age, he defended vigorously the rights of his diocese. After a brief sickness, he died on May 4, 1038.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Gothard of Hildesheim, Bishop and Frederick the Wise, Ruler
Posted by Chuck Wiese at 12:01 AM