Augustinian Bishop: 1134/36-1196
+ Meinhard (or Meinhards) was born in Germany and became an Augustinian Canon.
+ Inspired by the work that other missionaries were doing among the Slavic peoples, Meinhard traveled to the region of Livonia (in modern-day Latvia) to begin a mission among the Semigallians, Latgallians, and Livonians. He built his mission near Riga.
+ In 1185 or 1186, he built a stone church, which he dedicated to Mary. Following an attack on the mission by a group of Lithuanias, Meinhard oversaw the construction of a fortress to defend the mission. These buildings were the first stone buildings in the region. Remains of this first church have survived until the present day.
+ In 1186, Meinhard was consecrated a bishop and he received support from succeeding popes for his mission.
+ Blessed Meinhard died on October 11, 1196. A controversial but historically significant figure in the history of the Church in Latvia, he was beatified by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1993.
“No one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ.”—1 Corinthians 3:11
Look, O Lord, upon your family, which the Bishop blessed Meinhard engendered by the Word of truth and fed with the Sacrament of life, that your grace, which has made them faithful through his ministry, may through his prayers make them fervent in charity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Pastors—For the Founders of Churches)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.Access our archives of daily saint biographies here