|St. Meinrad builds a
Returning thanks for this promise, Meinrad walked back to his
cell, whence he had set out, and there he begged God continually
with fasting and prayer to deign to establish in his soul His
Divine Will about this matter. And at length, strengthened with
divine inspiration, Meinrad left the cell and the school he had
presided over, and visited the woman again, for he wanted to find
out whether or not she was willing to persist in her promise.
When he saw that she had remained constant in the offer of the
promised aid to him, he built a hut for himself in a lonely place
[on Mount Etzel], not far from the village where the woman lived. And
there Meinrad served the Creator unceasingly with fasts and
prayers; and the woman and other pious folk provided him with the
necessities of life.
For seven years Meinrad served the heavenly King there; but
since he was not strong enough to bear the multitude of people who
came to him, he moved and found a patch of level ground among the
mountains, very difficult to reach, four miles from the lakeshore.
There, with the help of pious folk and especially a certain abbess
by the name of Helwiga, he built a cabin, the bare necessity for
his vow, and he remained in that place for the rest of his life.
He mortified himself with the greatest fasts, as much as human
frailty allowed, and prayed without ceasing. He gave out as alms to
his visitors all those things which faithful men and women used to
One day while he was praying, it happened that a great host of
demons surrounded him from every side, and the servants of darkness
so overshadowed him that he could no longer see even the light of
day. With terrible threats and the greatest dread, they exhausted
him. Prostrate in prayer, as the situation then required, he
commended himself with every desire to the holy Lord. Things went
on in this way for a long time.
Then, he saw a light from the east. Following this light, an
angel came to him where he was lying prostrate in prayer in the
midst of the evil spirits; and with great authority, the angel
ordered the impious array to depart and to dare not inflict further
temptation or terror on Meinrad. After the host left, the angel
consoled Meinrad, as one friend another, and departed. And so from
that day on, as the venerable man himself used to say, he suffered
no further terror from evil spirits.