Henry of Noerdlingen

Henry of Noerdlingen
    Henry of Nördlingen
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Henry of Nördlingen
    A Bavarian secular priest, of the fourteenth century, date of death unknown; the spiritual adviser of Margaretha Ebner (died 1351), the mystic of Medingen. Henry's many acquaintances, his travels, his influence as a director of souls, as preacher and confessor, excite a special interest because of the light they cast upon the immense development of mysticism, and the religious state of Germany at the time of Louis of Bavaria. Among the laity of both sexes, the nobility, and in monasteries of men and women, from the Low Countries across the Rhenish Provinces, Bavaria, etc., to Northern Italy, we find the mystics, the Gottesfreunde, coming into intercourse with one another; Henry is often the connecting link. He writes to, or visits, Margaretha Ebner, Tauler, Christina Ebner, Suso, Rulman Merswin, etc.; he translates into High German the book of Mechtilde of Magdeburg and urges other mystics, as Margaretha Ebner, to write their visions; his visits and instructions are received by the Cistercians of Kaisheim, etc., the Dominican nuns of Engelthal, Medingen, etc., the Bernardines of Zimmern, etc., and by the Benedictine nuns of Hohewart, etc.; to his correspondents he sends books now of theology (St. Thomas), now of mysticism, with Relics, etc. But, as in the case of many other mystics of his time, the life of Henry is unhappily unknown to us save from his correspondence and the writings of the Ebners during the period between 1332 and 1351. Of these nineteen years, the first three were spent in or about Nördlingen, where Henry was the beloved director of a group of mystics which included his mother. In 1335 he set out for Avignon on a voluntary exile in consequence of the dispute between the pope and the emperor. In 1339, a short while after his return to Nördlingen, his fidelity in abiding by the interdict brought him into a critical position, and he went by way of Augsburg and Constance to Basle, where he found Tauler and whither several of the Gottesfreunde followed him from Bavaria.
    At Basle (January, 1339), which he now made the centre of his activity, his success in the confessional and pulpit brought crowds to him, especially in 1345. Letters to Margaretha Ebner give an idea of his work, fears, and hopes; in 1346-7 he made several trips to Cologne, Bamberg, etc.; then he left Basle, much regretted by the Gottesfreunde, and after a wandering life of preaching in Alsace (1348-9), while the black pest was raging in Germany, he returned to his country (1350), a little before the death of Margaretha Ebner. We then find him in communication with the aged Christina Ebner of Engelthal, but after 1352 nothing more is heard of him.
    His works consist of a collection of fifty-eight letters, of which but one manuscript remains (British Museum). It is the first collection of letters, properly so called, in German literature, as the letters of Henry Suso, which are an earlier composition, are practically sermons, a title which they bear in many manuscripts. We remark in these letters the tender sympathetic soul of Henry, impressionable and burning with zeal for the practice of the interior life and union with God; they are not speculative, or deep meditations on mysticism; but rather with him all was sentiment. Of Henry's preaching in Basle and Alsace nothing has been handed down to us, if indeed anything was ever written. To his letters must be joined the translation from Low German into High German of the work of Mechtilde, now at Einsiedeln; but for him, this precious jewel of German literature would have been preserved to us only in a Latin translation, inaccurate and incomplete.
    STRAUCH, Margaretha Ebner und Heinrich von Nördlingen (Freiburg and Tübingen, 1882); DENIFLE in Deutsche Litteraturzeitung, III (1882), 921; DE VILLERMONT, Un groupe mystique allemand (Brussels, 1907), 312, 423, etc.
    Transcribed by Douglas J. Potter Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.

Catholic encyclopedia.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nördlingen — Nördlingen, south view from the church tower Daniel …   Wikipedia

  • GERMANY — GERMANY, country in north central Europe. The Talmud and the Midrash use Germania (or Germamia ) as a designation for northern European countries, and also refer to the military prowess of these peoples and to the threat they posed to the Roman… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Nadir Afonso artworks — Parque de S. Paulo (Cities Series), 1996, acrylic on canvas This is a list of Nadir Afonso artworks: paintings, engravings, and architecture …   Wikipedia

  • JAECKLIN, JUD — (Judah b. Judah; 14th century), Ulm moneylender. Jaecklin was first mentioned in 1375 when the city of Ulm (Germany) borrowed 2,500 gulden from him. On Sept. 5, 1376, he was put under an imperial ban by charles iv , at the request of a feudal… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • OETTINGEN — OETTINGEN, town in bavaria , Germany. Jews were to be found in Oettingen from the second half of the 13th century. The Jewish settlement suffered in 1298 during the rindfleisch persecutions, and during the black death persecutions of 1348 almost… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.