Saint Bernward of Hildesheim

detail of a statue of Saint Bernward of Hildesheim, artist unknown; Hildesheim, Domhof, Germany; photographed on 24 February 2009 by Rabanus Flavus; swiped off Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • Berward
  • Bernward



Member of a noble Saxon family. Grandson of Athelbero, Count Palatine of Saxony. Orphaned at an early age. Raised by his uncle Volkmar, bishop of Utrecht, and educated at the cathedral school at Heidelberg, where he was a schoolmate of Blessed Meinwerk of Paderborn and at Mainz. Ordained at Mainz. Imperial chaplain and tutor to the future Emperor Otto III beginning in 987. Bishop of Hildesheim, Germany from 993 till 1020. Encouraged the arts; commissioned religious paintings and sculpture, refurbished existing buildings, built new ones (thus his patronage of the builder’s arts), and made altar vessels of gold and silver by hand, and dabbled in architecture and ornamental ironwork. His rule was marked with peace, and around 1020 he retired to a Benedictine monastary to spend his remaining days in prayer.






  • bishop making a chalice with a goldsmith‘s hammer
  • holding a short cross in his hand and surrounded by tools
Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Bernward of Hildesheim“. CatholicSaints.Info. 12 August 2020. Web. 16 May 2021. <>