Spiritual writer, Benedictine founder; b. Bonn, Germany, June 4, 1825; d. Beuron, Germany, July 8, 1890. Maurus, whose baptismal name was Rudolf, came of a devout, middle-class family, his mother being a convert from Lutheranism in 1852. He received his Ph.D. at Bonn (1849), studied at the seminary in Cologne, and was ordained (1850). After directing a secondary school in Julich and the cathedral school in Aachen, he joined his brother, Placid, as a member of the benedictines at the Abbey of saint paul-outside-the-walls in rome (1856) and was professed (1857). In 1860 he and his brother returned to Prussia, where he founded a monastery in 1863 after acquiring the former Augustinian house at beuron, which later became an archabbey. As its first abbot, Wolter promoted the liturgy, Gregorian chant, art, science, and parochial work, modeling his efforts on those of Dom guÉranger at solesmes. Between 1871 and 1890 Wolter published a five-volume explanation of the Psalms, Psallite sapienter. His views on monastic life, together with his ideas on Benedictine unity, appeared (1880) in Praecipua Ordinis Monastici Elementa (Eng. tr. The Principles of Monasticism, 1962). Wolter started the Beuronese Benedictine Congregation and founded houses in maredsous, Belgium (1872); Erdington, in the Birmingham diocese, England (1876); Prague (1880); and Seckau, in Styria (1883). He also drew up the congregation's constitutions, which were approved by the Holy See (1884).
Bibliography: s. mayer, Beuroner Bibliographie, 1863–1963 (Beuron 1963). Beuron 1863–1963: Festschrift (Beuron 1963). Maurus Wolter, dem Gründer Beurons zum 100. Geburtstag, ed. j. uttenweiler (Beuron 1925). j. uttenweiler, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. m. buchberger (Freiburg 1930–38) 10:966–967. "Wolter, Maurus," Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. k. rahner and j. hofer v.10 (Freiburg 1957–65).