I visited the Salvatorian Abbey of Steinfeld by mistake.
After the Abbey of Maria Laach, I wanted to visit the Benedictine monastery in that town because just at that time, I read in „Secret Wisdom“, by Ruth Clydesdale that the motto of the German Alchemist Heinrich Khunrath “Ora et labora”/”Pray and work”/”Pray and labor” is actually the motto of the
Benedictines. Yet arriving in Steinfeld, I directly landed in the Salvatorian monastery, where I found another mystic and much beauty.
What I will start with is that in 1960 the abbey church was raised to Basilica minor due to its beauty and its long history. No, my blog isn’t exclusively about the temples of this rank. I land in them by chance. But if there is a place where the answers to some mysteries or to the mystery of life in general could be searched, that would be the religious buildings (in the view of the fabricated Christianity), and maybe the buildings of the nobility too (because these two institutions – of the spiritual and of the secular power have always functioned hand in hand.)
Here in that place, there was a church as early as the beginning of the 10th century, but the monastic life began in 1107 with the Augustinians. In 1120, the property was taken over by the Premonstratensians/Norbertines who remained until 1803. From 1923 onwards, here live the Salvatorians.
The head portal and the Prelacy with the sundial in front.
The church was built between 1142 and 1150, and was dedicated to Saint Potentinus and his two sons, Felicius and Simplicius – they all are saints with telling names (hmm, I get wind of another Christian personification, like St. Lucy/Lucia – the personification of Light.)
The church has never been demolished, that’s why it has gathered a great number of architectural styles – Romanesque architecture with Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and modern interior.
The Baroque high altar, 4 side altars, and the pulpit date from the end of the 17th century.
The Baroque organ is world-renowned, and it is the only one of its kind.
In the middle of the church stands the Baroque sarcophagus of the Mystic-Saint Hermann Joseph from 1702. Hermann Joseph lived between 1150 and 1250 and was Premonstratensian canon regular. The story that was told about him is that he once offered apples to a statue of Mary in one Cologne church. That’s why he is also called the Apple Saint, and in recent times, pilgrims bring apples to his tomb as a tradition – as we can see that in the photographs too. Hermann was a mystical poet who had led a life in the service of Mary (like Bernard of Clairvaux). He was informally declared saint immediately after his death but was officially recognized by the Pope as late as the year 1960.
The Renaissance decorations date from the beginning of the 16th century.