Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Diemoth

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Diemoth, an old German word for the present "Demuth", the English "humility", was the name of a pious recluse at the monastery of Wessobrunn in Upper Bavaria, b. about 1060 of a noble Bavarian or Swabian family; d. 30 March, probably in 1130. At an early age she entered the Benedictine nunnery which was connected with the Benedictine monastery of Wessobrunn. After a long period of severe probation in the nunnery she obtained permission to live the life of a recluse and, following the custom of many recluses of those times, had herself enclosed in a cell adjoining the church, where she spent the remainder of her life in prayer and in transcribing valuable books. On account of her exceptionally beautiful handwriting she was styled the beautiful scribe. She copied about 45 volumes the titles of which are given by Becker in his Catalogi bibliothecarum antiqui (Bonn 1885), 155-136. The most important are: the Bible, the Moralia and other works of St. Gregory the Great, 7 works of St. Augustine, 4 of St. Jerome, 2 of Origen, and about 15 liturgical works. Diemoth was a great friend of the Blessed Herluka with whom she exchanged numerous letters while the latter was a recluse at the neighboring monastery of Epfach. The letters were long preserved at the monastery of Bernried where Herluka spent the last years of her life, but they unhappily fell a prey to the ravages of the Swedes during the Thirty Years War. A few of Diemoth's manuscripts are still preserved at the Staatsbibliothek in Munich, whither they were transferred after the secularization of Wessobrunn in 1803. Diemoth was buried in the basilica of Our Lady at Wessobrunn, aside of the bodies of Abbot Thiento and his six companions, who suffered martyrdom at the hands of the Hungarians in 955. In 1709 her remains were transferred to the Abbey Church of St. Peter. Some hagiologists style her "Blessed," though she has never received public veneration and was never formally beat

HEFNER, Ueber die Nonne Diemud von Wessobrunn und ihr literarisches Wirken, with a facsimile of her handwriting, in Oberbayerisches Archiv (Munich, 1839), I, 355-373; LEUTNER, Historia Monasterii Wessofontani (Augsburg and Freiburg, 1753), 160-175; STEELE, Anchoresses of the West (London and St Louis, 1903), 165 sq.; BRAUNMULLER in Kirchenlex.

MICHAEL OTT