Godard of Hildesheim, St.
GODARD OF HILDESHEIM, ST.
Benedictine abbot and bishop; b. Reichersdorf, lower Bavaria, 960; d. near Hildesheim, May 5, 1038. Godard (Godehard, Gothard, or Gotthard) was a monk at niederaltaich, where he became abbot in 996. Because of his advocacy of the exemplary spiritual life of the cluniac reform, he was made reform abbot of tegernsee (1001) and hersfeld (1005) abbeys. In 1022, Emperor henry ii induced him to succeed bernward as bishop of hildesheim. Godard defended Hildesheim's rights against aribo of mainz in the gandersheim dispute initiated by St. willigis of mainz. Although a gifted administrator, builder, and promoter of learning, Godard was primarily a stern spiritual ruler. innocent ii canonized him in 1131. The Saint Gotthard Pass bears his name.
Feast: May 4.
Bibliography: Vita, Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores (Berlin 1926–) 11:167–218. a. hauck, Kirchengeschichte Deutchlands (Berlin-Leipzig 1958) 3:451–455, 549–552. w. wattenbach-r. holtzmann, Deutchlands Geschictquellen im Mittelater bis zur Mitte des 13, Jh (Stuttgart-Berlin 1904) 1.1:62–65; 1.2:287–288. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints (New York 1956) 2:231–232. o. j. blecher, Das Leben des heiligen Godehards (2d ed. Hildesheim 1957). j. fellenberg gen. reinold, Die Verehrung des Heiligen Gotthard von Hildesheim in Kirche und Volk (Bonn 1970). w. haller, Bischofsamt im Mittelalter (Hildesheim 1970).
[r. h. schmandt]