Born in the Bavarian village of Reichersdorf about 960, Gothard was educated by the Canons of that area and showed so much promise that he attracted the attention of Archbishop Frederick of Salzburg. He became a priest and in 990 when the Benedictine Rule was restored to the Abbey of Heidr-Altaich he received the monastic habit. He became Prior and eventually Abbot of the Abbey.
There was such good discipline under St. Gothard that the Emperor, St. Henry II, entrusted him with the reform of other monasteries. Over the course of twenty-five years he formed nine Abbots for various houses, and when St. Bernward died in 1022, St. Gothard was made Bishop of Hildesheim in his place, despite his pleas of age and lack of suitable qualifications.
In typical fashion, this dedicated servant of God set about reforming his diocese with all the vigor of a young man. He built and restored churches, fostered education, especially in the Cathedral school, established order throughout the diocese, and erected a hospice for the poor and sick at the edge of Hildesheim. He died in 1038. The pass and railroad tunnel from Switzerland into Italy takes its name from this Saint in whose honor the nearby hospice for travelers and its chapel were dedicated.
PRAYER: God, You made St. Gothard an outstanding exemplar of Divine love and the Faith that conquers the world, and added him to the roll of saintly pastors. Grand by his intercession that we may persevere in Faith and love and become sharers of his glory. Amen.