Christoph von Schmid

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Christoph von Schmid, around 1825
Christoph von Schmid around 1850
Christoph von Schmid's house in Augsburg (with a memorial plaque above the front door)

Johann Nepomuk Christoph Friedrich Schmid , von Schmid from 1837 , (born August 15, 1768 in Dinkelsbühl ; † September 3, 1854 in Augsburg ) was a Roman Catholic priest and writer , also of hymns, who is considered the most successful author of young books of his time. His works that are still known today include - along with other hymns - the world-famous Christmas carol “ You children, come ”. His closeness to nature and his deep religiosity, the roots of which were already in his parents' home, were fundamental to his later work.


Christoph Schmid came from a family of civil servants who worked for the Teutonic Order . His parents were Friedrich Schmid and Theresia Hartel. In Dinkelsbühl, where he was born in Klostergasse 19 as the oldest of nine children, he attended elementary school , then he received private lessons in the monastery, attended the Catholic Latin school for two years and in 1783 moved to the sixth class of the Dillingen high school . After graduating from high school, he developed his pedagogical and narrative talent as a tutor to a wealthy family.

Christoph Schmid was shaped by his father's piety and his religious upbringing. So he decided to become a clergyman and enrolled at the Episcopal University in Dillingen , where he studied philosophy for two years from 1785 and then theology for four years. Professor Johann Michael Sailer in particular had a significant influence on him. A long-term friendship developed between the two. Christoph von Schmid can be regarded as the executor of Johann Michael Sailer's catechetical theory, as he is directly derived from the pastoral theology of his Dillingen university professor in the theology of his stories, in the conception of his catechisms and also in the official papers as the cathedral capitular responsible for the school system of the Diocese of Augsburg scooped up. As early as 1791, Sailer called his pupil “the crown of my efforts”. During this time he was friends with the sailing student Johann Heinrich Brockmann .

In 1791, Christoph Schmid was ordained a priest and began his church activity as a parish vicar in what is now the Mindelheim district of Nassenbeuren , where he probably wrote the poem "Ihr Kinderlein, kommet". In 1795 he followed a call as a chaplain in Seeg . In 1796, at the age of 28, he took up a position as beneficiary and school director in Thannhausen . During this time there was a visit by the Inquisition Authority (summer 1799), which suspected him of being a member of the Allgäu revival movement . However, Schmid was fully rehabilitated by the Augsburg vicar general Nigg. From 1806 he worked in Thannhausen as a district school inspector for the localities of the Ursberg and Edelstetten regional court . He declined later appointments to the universities of Heidelberg , Dillingen, Landshut and Tübingen .

It was not until 1816 that Christoph Schmid became pastor at St. Martinus in Oberstadion near Ulm, where he worked until 1827. In 1817 he was proposed by the government and the clergy as the first bishop of Rottenburg , but was not given this office. In 1827, on the recommendation of Johann Michael Sailer, he became cathedral capitular in Augsburg and in 1832 royal district scholarch (administrator of the school system) for Swabia and Neuburg .

The Bavarian King Ludwig I raised him to the personal nobility in 1837 as a knight of the Order of Merit of the Bavarian Crown . In old age, Christoph von Schmid received numerous honors. His 80th birthday was a public holiday in Augsburg, and in the same year the University of Prague awarded him the title of Doctor of Theology.

On September 3, 1854, Christoph von Schmid fell victim to the raging cholera in Augsburg at the age of 86 . His funeral took place on September 5th, the funeral service followed on September 7th in Augsburg Cathedral .

Works (selection)

Christoph von Schmid, book cover around 1910

Children's and youth publications

  • Biblical story for children. 1801-1807.
  • Genovefa. 1810.
  • The Ostereyer. A story about Easter presents for children. Krüll, Landshut 1816. ( digitized 2nd edition 1818 )
  • How Heinrich von Eichenfels came to the knowledge of God. A story for children and friends of children. Greis, Steyr 1817. ( digitized version of the 1824 edition )
  • Flowers, dedicated to the blooming age. (First 1818) Manz, Regensburg / Landshut 1836. ( Digitized version of the 3rd edition, 1836 )
  • The flower basket. A story. Krüll, Landsberg 1823. ( digitized version )
  • Rosa von Tannenburg. A story of antiquity told for parents and children. Wolff, Augsburg 1823. ( digitized version )
  • Educational little stories for children. 1824-1827.
  • Christmas Eve. A story about Christmas presents for children. Krüll, Landshut 1825. ( digitized version )
  • The wooden cross. A new story. Especially reprinted from Hönighaus palm leaves for the young. Rösl, Augsburg 1826. ( digitized version )
  • Eustachius. A story of the Christian prehistoric times, retold for the Christians of our time. (First 1828) Kobrtsch, Eger 1829. ( Digitized version of the 1829 edition )
  • The good Fridolin and the bad Dietrich. An educational story for parents and children. Wolff, Augsburg 1830. ( digitized version )
  • The little lute player. A Schapiel for children and friends of children. Wolff, Augsburg 1832. ( digitized version )
  • Small shows for families. Wolff, Augsburg 1833. ( digitized volume 1 ), ( volume 2 ), ( volume 3 )
  • Collected writings from the last hand (24 volumes) 1841–1846.
  • 1854: Jesus am Oelberge was set to music by the composer Donat Müller (1804–1879)
  • The little God book.



  • 1808/10: Come, Children, (published in 1811)
  • 1807: At the last supper
  • 1811: On Pentecost around the third hour



Monument by Max von Widnmann in front of the Dinkelsbühler Münster St. Georg
Memorial plaque at the Church of St. Michael, Catholic cemetery on Hermanstrasse in Augsburg

Both his hometown of Dinkelsbühl and Thannhausen and Seeg honor the pastor and youth writer with a memorial ; in addition, the Realschule Thannhausen, the elementary schools of Dinkelsbühl and Seeg as well as the elementary and secondary school Oberstadion bear his name. A Christoph von Schmid memorial has been set up in the historic Oberstadion town hall. In Dillingen, where Schmid went to school, and Nassenbeuren near Mindelheim, streets are named after him, and a memorial plaque is attached to the parish of Nassenbeuren. In Dinkelsbühl, too, an alley in the old town bears Schmid's name, as does an oak on Schießwasen. In Eurasburg near Augsburg, pastor Franz Anton Haindl, who was a friend of Schmid, planted a Christoph-von-Schmid-linden tree that is still alive today on the edge of the former castle stables and erected a small stone monument next to it. This bears the inscription:

Say homage from friends
To the celebrated like today
When centuries have passed
You o Linde, consecrated to him.
Christoph von Schmidt
The noble friend of youth.
The teacher of high virtue.
May 5, 1834

His stories have been translated into several languages. In Slovene , “christophschmidsche tale” ( krištofšmidovska povest ) became a term used in literary history. Gottfried Keller mentions some of the pretty stories by Christoph Schmid and his short story with the nice verses at the end in his novella The Three Just Comb Makers .

On the occasion of Christoph von Schmid's 250th birthday, the Augsburger Domsingknaben paid tribute to the author and Augsburger Domkapitular with a new arrangement of his world-famous Christmas carol " Ihr Kinderlein kommet ".


  • Gerfrid Arnold: Christoph von Schmid's edifying and enjoyable youth in Dinkelsbühl. Verlag am Roßbrunnen, Hanns Bauer, Dinkelsbühl 1990.
  • Gerfrid Arnold: Christmas in Dinkelsbühl with CvS Dinkelsbühl for kids. Reading city guide . Books on Demand, 2004. ISBN 3-8334-1427-8 .
  • Binder:  Schmid, Christoph von . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 31, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1890, pp. 657-659.
  • Andreas Baur: Christoph von Schmid (1768-1854) . In: Schulreferat des Bischöflichen Ordinariats (Ed.): The diocese of St. Ulrich . Augsburg 1983, p. 54-55 .
  • Ursula Creutz: Christoph von Schmid 1768-1854. Life, work and contemporaries. Konrad, Weißenhorn 2004, ISBN 978-3-87437-479-8 .
  • Ludwig Gschwind: Unforgettable Christoph von Schmid. Priest, educator, writer . Bernardus Verlag, Aachen 2016, ISBN 978-3-8107-0250-0 .
  • Uto Meier: Christoph von Schmid. Catechesis between the Enlightenment and Biedermeier . EOS, St. Ottilien 1991. ISBN 978-3-88096-967-4 .
  • Uto Meier:  Schmid, Christoph von. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 23, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-428-11204-3 , pp. 144 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Hans Mendl : Literature as a mirror of Christian faith. Religious children and youth stories by Catholic authors from 1750 to 1850 . EOS, St. Ottilien 1995, pp. 178-276, 444-447 (catalog raisonné including copycat works). ISBN 3-88096-724-5 .
  • Hans Pörnbacher (Ed.): Christoph von Schmid. Memories and letters (= résumés. 13). Kösel, Munich 1968, DNB 458849979 .
  • Hans Pörnbacher (Ed.): Christoph von Schmid and his time. Konrad, Weißenhorn 1968, DNB 456275800 .
  • Hans Pörnbacher: Christoph von Schmid August 15, 1768 * August 15, 2018. For the pastor, teacher and storyteller on his 250th birthday. In: Jahrbuch / Verein für Augsburger Bistumsgeschichte eV 51 (2017), ISSN  0341-9916 , pp. 535–555.
  • Hans Pörnbacher: Christoph von Schmid on his 250th birthday. In: Klerusblatt. Journal of the Catholic clergy in Bavaria and the Palatinate. 98, No. 10 (2018), ISSN  0948-6216 , pp. 217-218.
  • Reiner Wild (ed.): History of German children's and youth literature . 3rd, completely revised and expanded edition. JB Metzler, Stuttgart and Weimar 2008, ISBN 978-3-476-01980-6 , pp. 135-137.
  • Silvia Wimmer:  Christoph von Schmid. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 9, Bautz, Herzberg 1995, ISBN 3-88309-058-1 , Sp. 384-387.

Web links

Commons : Christoph von Schmid  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Christoph von Schmid  - sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. ^ According to the baptismal register: Johannes Nepomucenus Christophorus Fridericus. So: Christopher Beschnitt: He created “Your little children come” and other classics. In: . August 15, 2018, accessed August 16, 2018 . The first names "Johann Christoph Friedrich" are given by The unveiling ceremony of the monument for the youth writer Christoph von Schmid zu Dinkelsbühl on October 12, 1859. Kollmann'schen Buchhandlung Verlag, Augsburg datum = 1859, p. 8 , accessed on December 31, 2010 (Digital version at the Bavarian State Library in Munich).
  2. Ludwig Gschwind: Unforgotten Christoph von Schmid. Priest, educator, writer. Bernardus Verlag, Aachen 2016, pp. 7–8.
  3. a b Andreas Baur: Christoph von Schmid (1768–1854) . In: Schulreferat des Bischöflichen Ordinariats (Ed.): The diocese of St. Ulrich . Augsburg 1983, p. 54-55 .
  4. ^ Obituary of the only surviving brother Aloys Schmid, a retired judge, in the Augsburger Postzeitung on September 5, 1854 .
  5. No copy can be found
  6. ^ Works by Christoph von Schmid . Project Gutenberg-DE. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  7. Bayerische StaatsBibliothek digital , accessed on February 20, 2013.
  8. Augsburger Audonari-Postzeitung, February 1829 ( digitized version ).
  9. No copy can be found
  10. In addition to the statue in front of the former town hall, a second memorial was added in 2018 in the garden of the Tuchmacherhaus.
  11. see Krištofšmidovska povest in the article Christoph Schmid in the Slovenian Wikipedia.
  12. ^ Diocese of Augsburg: Augsburger Domsingknaben: The world famous. December 24, 2018, accessed January 14, 2019 .