abbey of Bursfeld

Near Gottingen, Germany, founded, 1093, by Duke Henry of Nordheim and his wife Gertrude. The first abbot, Almericus, came with his monks from Corvey, and founded one of the most famous schools in Germany. In 1331 a period of decline set in, but in the 15th century the Benedictine, John Dederoth, Abbot of Clus, encouraged by success in his own abbey, undertook the reform of Bursfeld. Unexpectedly satisfying results led him on to Reinhausen, and these three monasteries formed the nucleus of the Bursfeld Union. The foundation of the union, however, is attributed to John of Hagen, who restored the Divine Office to the original form of the Benedictine Breviary, and introduced liturgical and disciplinary uniformity in the monasteries, according to the reform followed at Bursfeld. When approved by the Council of Basel, 1446, the Abbot of Bursfeld was ex officio one of the three presidents of the congregation, which became a powerful force of reform among the monasteries of Germany, numbering 36 monasteries at the death of its founder, and at its height, over 135. The last Abbot of Bursfeld was evicted, 1579, and replaced by a Lutheran, but the union continued until the secularization of the monasteries in the 18th century.

New Catholic Dictionary

NCD Index SQPN Contact Author