LIUDGER, lud'ger (LUDGER), SAINT: Missionary to the Frisians and first bishop of Münster; b. in Frisia, probably between 740 and 750; d. at Billerbeck (15 m. w.n.w. of Münster) Mar. 26, 809. He was educated at Utrecht, and thence went, about 767, to York, where for a year he enjoyed the instruction of Alcuin and was ordained deacon. After remaining there for some time longer, he returned to Frisia and was employed as a missionary among his fellow countrymen by
Later tradition made Liudger a Benedictine and asserted that he baptised Widukind, calling him by his own name. A reminiscence of this legend is found in the third "adventure" of the Nibelungenlied, where the Saxon duke is called Liudegêr. He is also connected traditionally with the diocese of Halberstadt, of which his brother Hildegrim, really bishop of Châlons and rector of Werden, is said to have beenbishop, while Liudger himself is described as establishing the Liudgeristift in Helmstadt, although this seems to have been merely a colony from Werden, founded in the beginning of the tenth century with Liudger as its patron saint.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Special study has been made of the sources by W. Diekamp, who has collected the early Vitæ in Geschichtsquellen des Bisthums Münster, vol. iv., Münster, 1881, also published separately, ib. 1882. The Vitæ are collected with less completeness, with commentary, in ASB, Mar., iii. 626-661; in MPL, xcix. 769-796; and ed. G. H. Pertz, in MGH, Script., ii (1829), 403-425. Modern discussions are: C. Krimphove. Leben und Wirken des heiligen Ludgerus, Münster, 1860; idem, Der heilige Ludgerus, ib. 1886; A. Hüsing, Der heilige Liudger, ib. 1878; L. T. W. Pingsmann Der heilige Liudgerus, Freiburg, 1879; K. F. von Richthofen, Untersuchungen über friesische Rechtsgeschichte, ii. 1, pp. 376 sqq., 398 sqq., Berlin, 1882; G. F. Maclear Apostles of Mediæval Europe, pp. 143-150, London, 1888; E. Knodt, Sturm, Ansgar, Liudger, Gütersloh, 1900 Histoire littéraire de la France, iv. 359-362, v. 659-661; Hauck, KD, ii. 317 sqq., 369 sqq.; DCB, iii. 729-731; Neander, Christian Church, iii. 79-81; Ceillier, Auteurs sacrés, xii, 218, xiii. 66.
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