Ernest of Zwiefalten, St.

views updated


Abbot and martyr; d. Mecca, 1148. His origins are unknown, but for five years he was abbot of zwiefalten in Swabia. He abdicated in 1146 because of the troublesome factions that were disrupting the life of the monastery. He undertook a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in the retinue of Bishop otto of freising, who accompanied the crusade of Conrad III. Legend has it that Ernest was cruelly tortured by the Saracens in mecca. He is commemorated in Zwiefalten as a martyr, and his cult exists but has never been officially recognized. There are a vita and a passio dating from the end of the 12th century [Acta Sanctorum (Paris 1863) (1910) Nov. 3:605617], and he is represented in a large statue and two wall paintings in the abbey church

Feast: Nov. 7.

Bibliography: Annales maiores Zwifaltenses, Monumenta Germaniae Scriptores (Berlin 1825) 10:5556. Acta Sanctorum Nov. 3:608617. a. m.. zimmermann, Kalendarium Benedictinum: Die Heiligen und Seligen des Benediktinerorderns und seiner Zweige (Metten 19331938) 3:272275. h. tÜchle, Kirchengeschichte Schwabens, 2 v. (Stuttgart 195254) 1:245. j. n. hauntinger, Reise durch Schwaben und Bayern im Jahre 1784, ed. g. spahr (Weissenhorn 1964). j. e. stadler and f. j. heim, Vollständiges Heiligenlexikon, 5 v. (Augsburg 185882) 2:87.

[g. spahr]