Saint of the Day – 24 December – Saint Irmina of Oehren (Died c 716) Virgin Princess, Nun, Abbess, Founder and Co-founder of 2 Monasteries, benefactress of St Willibrord, the great Missionary Saint of Germany. Died c 716 at the Monastery of Weissenburg, Germany of natural causes. Patronages – Trier, City and Diocese. Also known as – Irmina of Trier, Irmina of Treves, Irma…Ermina… Hermione… Ymena… Additional Memorials – 3 January in Luxembourg, 30 January in the Diocese of Trier, Germany.
The Roman Martyrology states: “In Trier in Austrasia, in Germany, Saint Irmina, Abbess of the Monastery of Öhren, who, a virgin consecrated to God, gave Saint Willibrord a small Monastery she founded in her villa in Echternach and was a generous giver of her goods.”
Various traditions exist of her parentage but what is certain is that she came from one of the most powerful families in the Merovingian kingdom.
According to many versions of Irmina’s biography, when she was fifteen years old, she was engaged to marry a man named Count Hermann but just before they were to marry, he was killed by one of his servants, who “admired Irmina and could not bear that his master should have he,”
Irmina’s father was ready to marry her to another man but she chose to become a Nun instead, a decision he supported, building her a Convent in Oeren, which was eventually named after her and where she later became its second Abbess. She was succeeded as Abbess by her sister, Saint Modesta.
In 697, Irmina donated lands to help co-found, with Saint Willibrord the Convent in Echternacht. Historian Jamie Kreiner called the founding of the Echternacht Convent “a co-operative venture” between Willibrord and Irmina’s family, who later promised to protect the Convent and its holdings after Willibrord promised fidelity to them in 706.
Another document reports that Irmina was “generous to both Celtic and Saxon missionary Monks“. Irmina died in c 716 at the Monastery at Weissenburg, which was also founded by her father
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