Isfried, St.

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Premonstratensian bishop; d. 1204, probably June 15. He was canon of Cappenberg and from 1159 provost of Jerichow; he was consecrated bishop of Ratzeburg (Regensburg, Germany) in 1180. Isfried, the "soul" of the premonstratensians in North Germany, worked tirelessly for the consolidation of his own recently erected diocese and for the Christianization and German colonization of all the lands east of the Elbe. To the west his influence was felt as far away as floreffe. He was Henry the Lion's confessor and attended him on his deathbed. He practiced heroic patience and self-denial, and miracles were credited to him within his lifetime. He is traditionally venerated in the Diocese of Osnabrück, and his cult was papally approved for the Premonstratensian Order c. 1725.

Feast: June 15.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum June 3:564565. Monumenta Germaniae Scriptores (Berlin 1825) 12:519; 16:23l, 348, 354, 625; 21:131, 241. g. m. c. masch, Geschichte des Bisthums Ratzeburg (Lübeck 1835). f. winter, Die Prämonstratenser des 12. Jahrhunderts u. ihre Bedeutung für das nordöstliche Deutschland (Berlin 1865). p. gams, Series epicoporum ecclisiae catholicae (Regensburg 1873) 304. c. eubel et al., Hierarchia Catholica medii (et recentioris) aevi: v.1, 11981431 (2d ed. Münster 1913) 1:414. a. l. goovaerts, Écrivains, artistes, et savants de l'ordre de Prémontré, 4 v. (Brussels 18991920) v.4.2. a. zak, "Episcopatus ordinis Praemonstratensis," Analecta Praemonstratensia 4 (1928) 406413. g. wentz, ed., Das Bistum Havelberg Germania Sacra 1.2 (Berlin 1933) 201. n. backmund, Monasticon Praemonstratense, 3 v. (Straubing 194956) 1:226, 242.

[j. j. john]