Weninger’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Frederic, Bishop and Martyr

detail of a stained glass window of Saint Frederick of Utrecht; c.1847, artist unknown; parish church of Saint Michael, Mayen-Koblenz, Germany; photographed on 15 September 2012 by GFreihalter; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

This day is the feast of the holy Bishop and martyr, Saint Frederic. He was born in Friesland and was piously educated by his parents. When . a boy, it was his delight to listen to sermons, and he would relate at home what he had learned at church. His conduct was always retiring and virtuous; and as he became older, the progress he made in all the higher branches of learning gained him the esteem of every one. Ricfridus, bishop of Utrecht, instructed him in spiritual perfection, and when his holy teacher died, Frederic was chosen bishop of Utrecht and thus became his teacher’s successor. Installed in his new dignity, he evinced great zeal in converting sinners and abolishing abuses, which eventually gained him the crown of martyrdom. Surius relates that the holy Bishop reproved King Louis, on account of his unlawful marriage, as Saint John had reproved King Herod, at first with mildness, but later with episcopal severity. The King seemed at one time to recognize and repent of his faults, but incited by the wicked woman, he gave orders to put the Bishop secretly to death. The murder was committed in the church, after the Saint had offered the holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is said, that having received his death-wound, he himself advised the murderers to seek safety in flight; after which, having given his last admonitions to his people, who came in crowds to him, he peacefully resigned his soul to God. His holy body exhaled a refreshing fragrance, and many, who in their need took refuge at his tomb, obtained help immediately through his intercession.

Practical Considerations

1. It was Saint Frederic’s delight even in his childhood, to listen to sermons, and he related at home what he had learned in church. Oh! that all parents would imprint on the hearts of their children a great esteem for the word of God, and enjoin them frequently to go and hear it; but at the same time require them to give an account of what they have heard. How different would be the conduct of the young, if this were done! But when the parents themselves neglect hearing the word of God, and set not a good example to their children, what is the result? We have it daily before our eyes. The children grow up without that knowledge which as Christians they ought to possess. There is no foundation laid for a truly Christian life; hence, it is quite natural that the children neither avoid sin, nor do good, and thus become a prey to vice. Christian Parents! awaken from your sloth and fulfill your duties! Manifest a constant zeal in hearing the word of God, and inspire the same into your children. Follow the example of Saint Frederic’s parents, and let your children relate to you, when they come from church, what they recollect of the sermon. Our pious forefathers acted in this manner; why should we not do the same? The salvation of your children, yes, your own salvation, should prompt you to do this. “Among the means to preserve the innocence of the heart (especially in the young), one of the most important is frequently to listen to the word of God,” says Saint Isidore.

MLA Citation

  • Father Francis Xavier Weninger, DD, SJ. “Saint Frederic, Bishop and Martyr”. Lives of the Saints, 1876. CatholicSaints.Info. 15 March 2018. Web. 20 January 2019. <>