The Holy Altfrid (* 800, † 15 August 874) was a bishop of Hildesheim, founder of the congregation eating as the nucleus of the city of Essen and close adviser of the East Frankish king Louis the German an important person of the late 9th century.


About Altfrid there is no contemporary or even timely Vita. His first certain mention dates of October 3, 852 On that day he took over as Bishop of Hildesheim part in a council in Mainz. About birth, family lineage and training Altfrid nothing is guaranteed, but a lot can be inferred from other evidence.

Since Altfrid " rich in days " 874 died after the Hildesheim Chronicle, it is assumed that he reached a relatively advanced age, so that a birth can be accepted by 800 or shortly after this year. He was very likely noble Saxon descent; Altfrid family owned own goods in the Harz mountains and the manorial Asnithi ( food). The fact that he belonged to the later imperial family of Liudolfinger, is rather doubtful according to recent findings, since the Liudolfinger gained influence in Essen Abbey after Altfrid death. It is more likely that the family associations were versippt. The achievement of the office of bishop leads to the conclusion that Altfrid had enjoyed a well rounded education, probably in a Saxon monastery. The later history of the monastery of Corvey complained Altfrid as a member of the Convention; this could correspond to the facts. As a personal signature Altfrid is in Carolingian minuscule known to think they can see a well-maintained in the western part of the empire regional style of writing in which researchers, and some manuscripts as a founding features the stylus food handed Altfrid are clearly originated in the western part of the empire, is partly an education in West accepted.

851 was Altfrid successor of the deceased on March 20 of this year Bishop Ebo in Hildesheim, where Louis the German made ​​his influence felt. An exceptional measure Altfrid was that he had to repeat all donated by his predecessor ordinations to any canonical dispute about its validity - to avoid - Ebo had been repeatedly deposed as archbishop of Reims and reinserted. 864 convicted Altfrid relics of St. Marsus from Auxerre to an unknown location in Saxony, possibly the abbey of Corvey; the sermon Altfrid the arrival of the relics is preserved. In addition Altfrid 852 laid the foundation stone of a new cathedral, a three-aisled cruciform basilica with transept and transept, which was completed in 872 and consecrated on November 1 872 in the presence of four bishops and of the Abbot of Corvey.

Prior to the appointment as Bishop Altfrid had participated in the founding of several communities of women religious authored. 845/47, he acquired in Rome relics of Saints Cosmas and Damian. On this trip, he accompanied possibly Liudolf and his wife Oda, who asked for 846 on a trip to Rome papal protection for the founding of the community of women Gander Home, dispensation for the appointment of her daughter Hathumod abbess and relics. Even the Saxon Count Ricdag supported Altfrid in the founding of women's community to Lamspringe by procured this relic of St. Hadrian of Rome. Altfrid founded by Hildesheimer tradition also a Benedictine monastery on private land in the Harz mountains, are known from which neither place nor time of existence. More important was Altfrid other establishment, which he undertook on his own property Asthnide am Hellweg. The establishment of food was not Altfrid alone, but presumably by his entire family. First abbess of interest was his relative Gerswith which was later declared to be a sister Altfrid without that there was, for a clue. The second abbess of Essen Gerswith II still belonged to Altfrid relationship. As in Hildesheim also let Altfrid build a church in Essen. The floor plan of this Carolingian abbey church is still imaged by long and transept of the Essen Cathedral. In this church Altfrid was buried according to his wish, the Altfridsgrabmal from the Gothic period is now in the Ostkrypta named after him.


Altfrid, which is described gifted in a letter of the Bishop Hincmar of Reims as wise and sober thinker and with eloquence, was a close confidant of Louis the German, and from 860 in the power struggles between the parts of the empire of the decaying Kingdom of the Franks one of the key negotiators. 860 took Altfrid the meeting between Louis the German and Charles the Bald in Koblenz's Basilica St. Kastor part where the two kings agreed some peace. In the following years, a brisk business travel Altfrid be found: In the early summer of 862 he is finally attested in Asselt on the Meuse, later in Compiegne and Savonnières, 864 in Pitres, 865 in Thousey on the Meuse and 867 in Metz. Altfrid had significant influence on the design of the Treaty of Meersen, the Lorraine was divided between Western and Eastern Frankish on August 9, 870.


Altfrid was particularly worshiped at his grave in Essen. Around the turn of the millennium miracles were reported at his grave, which made the worship flourish; also those of his intercession has been attributed as curative effect of a respected Located close to Essen Minster source. After the fire, the Munster Church in the 13th century, a Gothic stone sarcophagus for his remains was created. The annual Memorial Altfrid was the most festive in the Memorial service of the Essen pin. Nevertheless Altfrid was not a canonized saint, and the secularization of the pen in 1803 took off Altfridverehrung to become stronger only in the culture war again. After the founding of the Diocese of Essen 1958, the first bishop of Rome Ruhr asked for the confirmation of the Church's celebration of the feast day of St. Altfrid, which was granted in 1965. Altfrid may thus be revered as a saint since 1965, his feast day is August 16.