St. Benno, Bishop | Saint of the day | June 16

Prayer to St. Benno, Bishop

God, Light and Shepherd of souls, You established St. Benno as Bishop in Your Church to feed Your flock by his word and form it by his example. Help us through his intercession to keep the faith he taught by his word and follow the way he showed by his example. Amen.

St. Benno, Bishop

Patron of Munich

Born in 1010 at Hildesheim, Germany, Benno was the son of Count Frederick of Bultenburg. He was educated under his relative, Bishop St. Bernward, and became a canon of the collegiate church of Goslar, Hanover. Benno served as chaplain to Emperor Henry IV and then was made Bishop of Meissen in 166. He was a diligent pastor of his flock, watched over the clergy, carried out the visitations to be made, gave generously to the poor, lived an exemplary ascetic life, and restored public singing of the Divine Office.

The Saint backed the Saxon nobles in their revolt against Henry and was imprisoned for a year. He also backed Pope Gregory and was deposed from his Bishopric in 185 by the German prelates who supported the emperor. But he was reinstated in 1085 by anti-Pope Guibert, whom he supported.

In 1097, Benno cast his lot once more with the true Pope Urban II, and spent his years as a missionary. He died about 1106 and was canonized in 1523. This caused Martin Luther to issue a strongly critical polemic: Against the New Idol and the Old Devil about To Be Set Up at Meissen. In 1575, when Meissen had become wholly Protestant, the Saint’s relics were transferred to Munich, and he became its principal Patron.