Abbot and martyr; b. Mecklenburg, Germany, c. 1040; d. Ratzeburg, Germany, July 15, 1066. He entered the benedictine monastery of Sankt Georg in Ratzeburg, where he was noted for his learning and piety and became abbot while still young. He devoted himself to the conversion of the Slavs and preached the gospel to the pagans still living around Ratzeburg. In 1066, together with about 30 companions, he was stoned by pagan Wends. He begged his executioners to kill him last so that his companions would not apostatize and so that he could comfort them. His body was first interred in the crypt at Sankt Georg; but when a blind man was restored to sight at the tomb, Bishop Evermond (d. 1178) had the martyr's remains translated to the cathedral of Ratzeburg. The relics perished during the disorders of the Reformation period. Canonization was granted with papal approval by Abp. adalbert of bremen. Ansuerus was included in the Schleswig and Ratzeburg Breviaries, but since the Reformation he is remembered only in monastic martyrologies. His memorials are a cross near Ratzeburg and a painting in the cathedral there.
Feast: July 15.
Bibliography: f. castagne, Der Mönch Ansverus und die Heidenmission in Holstein und Lauenburg (Hannover 1966). Acta Sanctorum July 4:97–108. a. m. zimmermann, Kalendarium Benedictinum (Metten 1933–38) 2:456–458. a. m. zimmermann, Lexicon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 1957–65) 1:602. a. taylor, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 3:509.