Herman was born to a poor farm family in Althausen, Germany, in 1013. Afflicted with many infirmities — cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and a cleft palate — Herman was abandoned by his parents to a Benedictine monastery when he was just seven years old. It was here that he would live out his entire life.
Unaware of the mighty genius masked behind his frail and debilitated body, the monks, while generous in their care for him, left Herman to his own studies. By the age of twenty, it was obvious to all that Herman possessed wisdom greater than the most educated of men. He became a Benedictine monk in 1033 and continued to amaze his fellow brothers with his writings on theology, history, astronomy and mathematics. He became fluent in 4 languages, designed and fashioned musical instruments, and built tools to study the stars. As if he had some foreknowledge of his eventual blindness, Herman produced enough literature and academic writings to fill a small library.
In the secular world he is known as the most famous religious poet of the day. Within the Roman Catholic Church, he is known as the great author of one of her most beloved hymns, the Salve Regina.
He died in 1054 at the Abbey in Reichenau from causes relating to his afflictions. He was beatified in 1863.
Other Saints We Remember Today
St. Finbar (Barry) (633), Bishop
St. Cleophas (1st Century)