Saint Henry II, also known as Henry the Holy or Henry II, was a prominent figure in German history and is one of the most revered saints in the Catholic Church. He is the patron saint of Benedictine oblates, the city of Bamberg, and the diocese of Fulda. Saint Henry II is celebrated on his feast day, July 13th, the day of his death.
Saint Henry II was born on May 6th, 973, in Hildesheim, Germany, to the Duke of Bavaria, Henry II the Quarrelsome, and his wife, Gisela of Burgundy. From an early age, he showed an exceptional interest in religious matters and was known for his piety and devotion to God. In 995, Henry was appointed as the Duke of Bavaria, and in 1002, he became the King of Germany.
Throughout his life, Saint Henry II was a devout Christian and a staunch defender of the Church. He founded numerous churches and monasteries throughout Germany, and he promoted the spread of Christianity in Bohemia and Poland. He was also a great advocate for peace and justice, and he often intervened in political conflicts to ensure fair and equitable outcomes.
A significant event in Henry II's life was in 1002, his marriage to a woman who was later canonized in her own right, Saint Cunigunde, a noblewoman from Luxembourg. The couple had no children but were known for their deep devotion to one another and their shared commitment to serving God. Together, they founded the Bamberg Cathedral and established a Benedictine monastery in their palace.
In 1014 Henry II was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Benedict VIII. Henry II was a decisive political leader and the early part of his reign required him to defend his claim to the throne against various rebellious lords.
Some interesting facts about Saint Henry II's life are that he was a close friend of the famous monk and scholar, Saint Wolfgang of Regensburg, and he was known for his strict adherence to the Benedictine Rule. He is also remembered for his efforts to reform the Church and for his support of the Papacy in Rome.
After being ill for many years, Saint Henry II died on July 13th, 1024, in Göttingen, Germany, at the age of 51. The public mourned sincerely for the emperor who had managed to lead his earthly kingdom so responsibly without losing sight of the Kingdom of God.
Saint Henry II was canonized by Pope Eugene III in 1146, just over a century after his death. He is remembered as a great saint, a wise leader, and a devoted Christian. He was a popular and beloved figure in his own time, and his legacy continues to inspire people around the world today.