Bishop Confessor (c. 744-809)
St. Ludger was born near Utrecht (Holland) of wealthy and noble Frisian parents. At9, an encounter with St. Boniface, the great apostle of Germany, sufficed to decide Ludger's career. After studying for some time at the school which St. Gregory of Utrecht had established in that city, he went to work and continued his studies there under Blessed Alcuin, who later became Charlemagne's "minister of education". With him St. Ludger contracted a life-long friendship.
In 777 Ludger was ordained to the priesthood and sent as a missionary to eastern Friesland where St. Boniface had met his death at Dokkum. But after 7 years the Saxons were incited by Widukind to return to their heathen gods, and to expel all missionaries and burn their churches. As a result, Ludger spent three years in Rome and Monte Cassino until Widukind was defeated by Charlemagne in 787. He then took up his missionary activity again and with renewed enthusiasm. Not long after, the Saxons living in what is today Westphalia, were added to his missionary field, and he established his central monastery at Muenster.
The "Apostle of Westphalia" __ as he came to be known __ became famed for his unfailing gentleness and bounteous charities, and these virtues, more than any military subjugation, caused great numbers of the Saxons to embrace the Christian faith. Consecrated first bishop of Muenster in 804, he labored assiduously at building up a devout and energetic clergy, and gave much of his time to their personal instruction.
Upon his death on Passion Sunday, 26 March 809, St. Ludger was buried at Werden, where his relics still remain. The ancient well at Muenster, which St. Ludger used for baptisms, was, in 1909, the scene of a touching rededication by thousands of the faithful during the celebration of the 11th centenary of the diocese.
Reflection :"Eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, what things God has prepared for those whom love" (1 Cor. 2:9).