BLESSED HERMAN THE CRIPPLE
[1054 A.D. Religious]
Blessed Herman the Cripple, also called Herman of Reichenau, (1013-1054) is a blessed of the Roman Catholic Church. This means that the Church acknowledges that he lived a live of heroic virtue worthy of imitation and that he now lives forever with God in heaven and can therefore intercede on behalf of the faithful still living on Earth. He was a Benedictine monk who wrote poetry, hymns and academic literature. He also made musical and astronomical instruments. In Latin, his name is Herman Contractus.
Bl. Herman was born in 1013 with a cleft palate, cerebral palsy and spina bifida. As a result he had great difficulty moving and could hardly speak. At the age of seven he was placed in a Benedictine monastery by his parents who could no longer look after him. He grew up in the monastery, learning from the monks and developing a keen interest in both theology and the world around him.
At the age of twenty Bl. Herman was professed as a Benedictine monk; he would spend the rest of his life in the monastery. He was literate in several languages, including Arabic, Greek and Latin and wrote about mathematics, astronomy and Christianity. He built musical and astronomical instruments and was also a famed religious poet. When he went blind in later life he began writing hymns. His most famous is Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen).
Bl. Herman died at the age of forty in the monastery in 1054. The Church beatified him in 1863.