Continuing the series on monastic saints, compiled by Jason John Edwards, Obl.S.B.
Blessed Irmgard of Chiemsee (German: Selige Irmgard, also Irmengard; c. 831/833 – 16 July 866), a member of the Carolingian dynasty, was the second daughter of King Louis the German and his wife Hemma. She was the first Abbess of Frauenchiemsee from 857 until her death.
Born at King Louis’s court in Regensburg, Bavaria, young Irmgard, like her sisters, was destined for a monastic life. She was raised at the Benedictine abbey of Buchau in Swabia, whose estates she later received from the hands of her father. She was known for her comprehensive education.
About 850, Louis appointed Irmgard abbess of the Frauenchiemsee monastery, which had been founded by the last Agilolfing duke Tassilo III of Bavaria in 782 and since 788 held the status of an Imperial abbey. During her leadership the decayed premises were restored and the former chapter for noble ladies developed into a Benedictine convent of nuns.
Since she was of Imperial descent, the incumbent Abbess of Chiemssee had the right to wear a thin golden hoop, resembling a little crown. Modern-era Abbesses, however, refrain from doing so.
Irmard was already venerated in the early 11th century, when Abbot Gerhard had her head-reliquary translated to Seeon Abbey in 1004. However, her cult was officially recognised only in 1928 by Pope Pius XI, on initiative of Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber. Irmgard was beatified on 17 July 1929. Her mortal remains and her skull were re-unified during a festive ceremony in 2003.