Blessed Frederick of Regensburg - 29th November

Blessed Frederick is a fine example of putting into practice what St. Augustine maintained: “where there is humility, there is love; where there is love there is peace”. Frederick did not pronounce this with his treatises and his writings, but by his example of leading a life of fidelity and religious observance. His date of birth is unknown, but we know that he was born around the second half of the XIII century and that the city of his birth was Regensburg (or Ratisbone), Germany. At a young age he decided to join the Augustinians who had a convent in that city and where, in 1290, the General Chapter that finally approved the oldest known Constitutions of the Order, the so-called “Constitutions of Ratisbona”, was celebrated.

As a novice friar and one of the religious brethren, as soon as he completed his one-year trial period he made his solemn vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and he engaged his body and soul towards the service of his brethren, as was expected of him by the community. A docile and affable person but, above everything, he was determined in the belief that everyting he did was pleasing to God and that he would serve his brethren. He knew that, on being professed, the common good had to take precedence in community life over any personal gain. His life was described as a continuous song of humility, genuine humility that sought the truth.

His biographers praised the various aspects of his simple way of life: obedience towards his superiors, the least possible words and only when required, attention to the community’s sick, service to his fellow friars, simplicity and poverty. His genuine life of prayer that he lived, rendered in him a great devotion towards the Eucharist. In those days daily communion  was not normal, not even for the friars. In fact, the Constitutions used to indicate how many times during the year one was permitted to receive communion, and such occasions were quite few. However, Frederick’s spiritual hunger rendered him, in adoration, one and the same thing as the Eucharist. 

Later historic happenings revealed this devotion through the apparitions that he used to have by an angel who used to bring him communion, many times whilst he used to be in the woods collecting wood for the oven; something which he much enjoyed because it gave him the opportunity to experience the quietness of nature where he could spend time working and praying. He died a blessed death in 1329, The devotions towards him, especially in the region of Regensburg, never ceased and in 1909 Pope Pius X added his name to the list of the Blessed. His remains are still honoured in what was the Augustinian Church of Ratisbone.

In the Augustinian Order, Blessed Frederick is traditionally recognised as being the patron of the religious brethren, or the fraternities, because, by his example, even they can achieve holiness. May through his intercession even more youths recognise and welcome this Augustinian call as he himself did, and to embrace this with perseverance until the end. Blessed Frederick reminds us how we ourselves should lead a life of true humility.  

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