Friday, November 20, 2015

November 20: St. Bernward of Hildesheim

St. Bernward of Hildesheim
St. Bernward's Church in
Hildesheim, Germany
Photo by Torben Brinker

History

Saint Bernward was a priest and also a tutor for the emperor’s son for a while. Then he was made bishop of Hildesheim, Germany. He was very interested in architecture and metal work, which came in handy when he had to build a Saint Michael’s Abbey in Hildesheim. He blessed and set the cornerstone in the year 1010, but it wasn’t quite finished when he died in 1022. His successor, Bishop Godehard finished the church. It was destroyed during World War II, but rebuilt, and now it is a historic site, where a 1,000-year-old rose bush – perhaps enjoyed by Saint Bernward himself - still blooms.

Activity

Saint Bernward enjoyed making metal objects for the church, including a processional cross that is preserved in a museum (and sometimes used even now - see picture to the right). Today, you can make an embossed metal cross to hang over your bed.
                        1.    Start with metal sheets, purchased at a craft store. 
                              (Like these or these.)
2.   Cut the metal into a shape of a cross, any size you like, but make sure each “leg” of the cross is at least 1” wide.
3.   Flip the cross shiny side down onto a piece of cardboard cut from the side of a cereal box. Tape it down on all sides to keep it from shifting.
4.   Use a dull pencil to draw a design on the metal, pressing down firmly. If you want to draw letters on the cross, remember to make them backward (mirror image).
5.    When you are all done, carefully remove the tape, turn the cross over and admire your design. Use a regular small hole punch to make a hole near the top so you can hang it over your bed.

Saint Bernward, pray for us!


More reading for parents: