We need more leaders such as Saint Henry (+1024) Emperor of the Romans and King of the Italians, the last of the ‘Ottonian’ line – deriving from the original Emperor of the (new and later mediaeval) Roman Empire, Otto I. Henry was from Bavaria – whence Josef Ratzinger would also hail a millennium on – upon whom was bestowed the iron crown of Rome in 1014 until his death on this day in 1024, a decade of pious ruling, wherein he consolidated Europe’s alliance with the Church, and was a remarkable almsgiver, to the poor, to parishes, to schools.

As the Emperor himself wrote of the nature and purpose of his reign:

“Henry, king by the preordained mercy of God, to all the sons of the Church, both future and present. By the most salutary instructions of sacred eloquence we are taught and advised to abandon temporal riches, to lay aside earthly goods, and to strive to reach the eternal and everlasting dwelling-places in heaven. For present glory is fleeting and meaningless, while it is possessed, unless in it we can glimpse something of heaven’s eternity. But God’s mercy towards the human race provided a useful remedy when he made the reward for earthly existence a share in our heavenly country.

Praise the Lord

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