• 02 Mar 18

Mar 2 - “Bl. Henry Suso” © icon by Lewis Williams, OFS.  Happy Feast Day Bl. Henry!

A German noble who joined the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans) at age 13, Henry was a loyal student of Meister Eckhardt. Eckhardt’s impact on him was powerful, influencing his life-long pursuit of Holy Wisdom (Sophia): ‘goddess of all beauty.’ A mystic that practiced extreme asceticism, Henry wore a tight-fitting undergarment as a nightshirt. This shirt was outfitted with 150 brass nails fitted facing into his skin. He was also inspired to carve Christ’s name into his chest. After 16 years, an angel appeared to him, asking that he end these severe practices. He listened.

He was condemned for his powerful preaching and original thought, and spent years imprisoned in a dungeon. No longer able to teach, he focused on his writing. His themes focused on a mutual love between man and God. His best-known and loved work was, The Little Book of Eternal Wisdom. He taught that man should seek to be grounded in virtue and live a life of active service, balanced in deep contemplation. Looking inward, in Holy Wisdom, man would come to know this God of great love, cleave to him, and strengthened, pursue His work in the world.

In this image, he is depicted with Christ’s name in Greek engraved on his chest. His robe is that of the Dominicans. His halo, the sign of his holiness, is symbolic of the flowering of Holy Wisdom, and within the nimbus are seven silver radiations, representing the seven biblical pillars of Holy Wisdom.

His feast day is March 2.

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