Saint Conrad of Altotting Minibook
Title: Saint Conrad of Altotting Germany
Authors: Bob and Penny Lord
Publisher: Journeys of Faith
Format: Printed minibook
Saint Conrad of Altotting
Doorkeeper to Our Lady of Altotting Queen of Bavaria
We have been very blessed in our lives to have been able to follow our Holy Family to their many Shrines all over the world. There have been times, as in our struggles to find Our Lady’s Shrine in Pontmain, France, and a Miracle of the Eucharist in Blanot, France, neither of which are on the map, when we almost gave up, but our Guardian Angel, the Angel of the media, St. Gabriel, kept us going until finally at the thirteenth hour, a good Samaritan would just point in a direction, and then we’d see a little dilapidated signpost for the place we were trying to find.
But the real blessing has always been what we found when we arrived at the Shrine, sort of a gift from Our Lord Jesus or our dear Mother Mary, or the Saint we were tracking down. How beautiful are the tributes paid to those who love our Faith and everything connected with it. God is so good. He showers those whom He loves with the most beautiful tributes in the form of Shrines.
Now in the instance of the magnificent tribute to Our Lady, Her Shrine in Altötting, Germany, we didn’t have to go out of our way that much. It really is very close to Munich, about 30 miles away, and is such an affirming example of the beauty of Bavaria. If you’ve ever had an image in your mind’s eye of the Germany of The Sound of Music, with the Tyrolean hats with the feathers in the cap, the big mustaches, the short pants and high socks of the men, the great beer halls, and the sound of ompah pah, that’s Bavaria.
In a country largely Lutheran, Bavaria is a pocket of strong Catholicism, and very possibly the center of Catholicism. Their greatest strength at times of peril, has been their devotion to Our Lady at Altötting, and Her response to that great sign of Faith. We were told by a Catholic woman, who had been born and raised in Bavaria, and lived there during World War II, that Hitler thought all Bavarians were farmers and stupid, and so he didn’t send many troops to bother with them. What he and they didn’t realize was that Our Lady of Altötting was protecting them all the time. What did it matter if Her method of protecting them was to make Hitler think they were stupid? It worked, didn’t it?
But let us get to the beautiful account of how Our Lady takes care of Her children here in this beautiful land. Altötting had unusual beginnings. Tradition tells us that it was originally a pagan temple. The history goes back to St. Rupert, known as the Apostle of Bavaria, who lived in this area in the Seventh century. He may very well have been Irish, because his Feast day, March 29, is also celebrated in Ireland and Austria. Austria would make sense as he was the Bishop of Salzburg, and actually gave the town its name, having changed it from its pagan name, Juvavum. St. Rupert (or Robertach, which was his Gaelic name) turned the pagan shrine of Altötting into a Christian Shrine, a Marian Shrine. A beautiful statue was made of Our Lady by St. Rupert, and somewhere around the Thirteenth century, the statue, which is venerated at the Shrine today, was made.
Saint Conrad was a Holy Doorkeeper at the Capuchin monastery.
Here Saint Conrad welcomed pilgrims and poor and homeless children.
This Shrine is a favorite of Pope Benedict XVI.
We describe the shrine to Saint Conrad as well as his tomb and living quarters.