Blessed Herman the Cripple was an 11th-century Benedictine monk from southern Germany.
Born deformed with a cleft palate, cerebral palsy, and spina bifida, Herman was cared for from age 7 by the Benedictine monks of the Reichenau abbey of Germany. He was professed as a monk there at age 20. Although he was bedridden and a speech impediment made him nearly impossible to understand, Herman was a gifted mathematician and astronomer. He also built astonomical equipment and musical instruments and was the most famous religious poet of his day.
When he eventually became blind, Herman began writing hymns. His "Salve Regina," or "Hail Holy Queen," is the best known.
Blessed Herman died at the age of 40 of causes related to his afflictions in 1054. He was beatified in 1863.
Although Blessed Herman suffered much, he always smiled and was the joy of the monastery. He saw each trial as a deeper way to draw closer to God and nearer to His heavenly reward. Let us thank God for each trial He sends our way and view it as a means of purification, drawing us nearer to Him as we consecrate our hearts to His Holy Mother Mary, Our Life, Our Sweetness, and Our Hope.
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