Liturgist; b. Junkersdorf, Germany, Nov. 27, 1874;d. Maria Laach Abbey, Sept. 2, 1946. He entered the Benedictine Abbey of Maria Laach in 1895 and studied archeology at Sant' Anselmo, Rome. He was already an ardent supporter of the liturgical movement in 1907. With his election in 1913 as 44th abbot of Maria Laach, he was able to enlist the full force of his monastic community and thus became the revered head of the movement toward liturgical renewal. He brought to this work a profound historical sense as well as rich gifts of personality and oratory.
The extraordinary influence he exerted over his countrymen of all classes was furthered by his use of several media. He gave innumerable retreats and weekend conferences all over Europe; he was the recognized leader of the respected Katholischer Akademikerverband; in 1931 he founded the Benedictine Academy for Liturgical and Monastic Research (since 1948 the Abt-Herwegen Institut); he also produced both scholarly and popular works. He edited the collections Beiträge zur Geschichte des alten Mönchtums und des Benediktinerordens (Münster 1912–), of which 16 volumes have appeared, and Ecclesia Orans (Freiburg 1918–), a popular series. Moreover, he published more than 30 books and articles, of which the most famous are: Der heilige Benedikt (3d ed. Düsseldorf 1926), which has become a classic; Antike, Germanentum und Christentum (Salzburg 1931); Sinn und Geist der Benediktinerregel (Einsiedeln-Köln 1944).
Bibliography: Liturgie und Mönchtum 1 (1948) 39–44, bibliography. e. v. severus, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 1957–65) 5:284.
[h. a. reinhold]