(Died 779 A.D.)
Sturmi is a German nickname for a person of blustery temperament. It means “Stormy.”
When Saint Sturmi’s parents named him, they probably did not realize that he would have a stormy life. Yet, despite his peaceful manner and deep faith, many troubles came to Sturmi,
Sturmi was born to Christian parents about 700 years after Jesus died. His family lived in Bavaria, the southeastern part of Germany. Sturmi’s parents entrusted Sturmi’s education to a holy English Benedictine monk named Boniface who also became a saint. Boniface brought young Sturmi to another English Benedictine monk named Wigbert, who also became a saint, and asked Wigbert to educate the child. Sturmi became a monk and a priest as well. He was the first German, historians believe, to become a Benedictine monk.
After three years of bringing the message of Jesus to pagan German peoples, Sturmi and two companions were given permission to become hermits. However, the forest chosen was unprotected from thieving tribal peoples so the hermits moved to more protected land near the Fulda River. Here the monks could evangelize the tribes more successfully. The monastery of Fulda became a thriving Benedictine abbey with Sturmi as its abbot. Boniface considered this to be a model monastery and seminary. When Boniface was martyred by robbers whom he would not fight, he was buried at Fulda Monastery.
Lull, who also became a saint, succeeded Boniface as bishop. He felt that Fulda should be under his governance, not the Pope’s. A long and bitter struggle ended when King Pepin banished Sturmi and Lull appointed a monk replace him. However, the other monks refused to accept the new abbot whom they banished from the monastery. When Bishop Lull allowed the monks to elect their own abbot, they chose one of Sturmi’s life long disciples. He took several monks to see the King whom they convinced to bring Sturmi back to Fulda.
Sturmi and the monks attempted to convert to Christianity the pagan people in the area. They had little success because of the poor example given by the warring, supposedly Christian emperor and King. Before peace reigned again and Sturmi could resume his mission of conversion and preaching, Sturmi died at Fulda.
Many times we have difficulties and stormy times in our lives. If we keep our faith in God and let Him lead us, we can become saints despite what is happening all around us.