Claudia Seraphica from Wolkenstein-Rodeneck

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Claudia Seraphica von Wolkenstein-Rodeneck (* 1625 ; † July 21, 1688 in Vreden ) was abbess at Freckenhorst Abbey and Heerse Abbey .


Origin and family

Claudia Seraphica von Wolkenstein-Rodeneck was born as the daughter of Count Fortunat von Wolkenstein-Rodeneck (1583–1660) and his wife Johanna Countess von Königsegg-Rothenfels . Before she became abbess of St. Ursula in Cologne in 1681, her sister Maria Elisabeth was in Freckenhorst for a while, where she had ambitions for the office of abbess. Her sister Johanna was an abbess in Northern Germany.

Career and work

Before Claudia Seraphica finally came into the possession of the Freckenhorst Abbey on October 18, 1646 , there were disputes between the applicants for the office of abbess for over a year . In the abbess election on March 22, 1645, Claudia Seraphica received 9 votes, while her rival Agnes Maria von Limburg-Styrum was able to unite 10 votes. Claudia's supporters protested against the outcome of the election because, in their opinion, the election was invalid because Agnes Maria was only 12 years old, of Protestant faith and her origin was not from the nobility of the count. Three days after the election, she “occupied” the abbey in order to force episcopal confirmation. In fact, on April 5, 1645 , Elector Ferdinand signed the commission against which her opponent officially protested.

With his bull of September 30, 1645, Pope Innocent X appointed the nuncio Fabio Chigi , who was in Münster for the negotiations on the Peace of Westphalia , and the cathedral deacons of Münster and Cologne as his commissioners to bring Claudia Seraphica into the possession of the abbey bring to. After she had taken the oath of faith with the declaration of allegiance to the Pope and signed the election surrender on March 24, 1646 , she was also formally abbess. Although she had her main residence in Freckenhorst, she was always in different places for long periods of time in order to be able to fulfill her residence duties. In addition to St. Ursula in Cologne, she also had a prebende in Vreden , where the revolt took place on July 1, 1648 . Here she also became provess , while in the summer of 1648 she was appointed abbess at Heerse Abbey . She was also a sexton at the Reichsstift Essen . Despite her many offices, she was clearly committed to improving the church system. Prince-Bishop von Galen was her guest on October 10, 1660 and held a confirmation.

Claudia rendered services to the maintenance of the building structure and the equipment of the abbey. So the Petri Chapel was restored and a new St. Mary's altar was built. She loved a splendid court, but was at the same time generous. In 1687 she stayed in Vreden, where she fell seriously ill in March 1688 and died here. She was buried in the collegiate church, where her epitaph was also located.

She had made her will on April 4, 1688 in Vreden, but this was not known in Freckenhorst, so that there were difficulties in handling the inheritance. Claudia Seraphica was the last abbess with a count of descent.


During the negotiations for the Peace of Westphalia , a relative of Claudia's, Georg Ulrich Graf von Wolkenstein-Rodeneck, stayed in Münster as the envoy of the House of Austria . Claudia's sponsor, Fabio Chigi , must have known him well. By the way, Wolkenstein and his embassy lived in the courtyard of Heinrich II von Droste-Hülshoff at the church of St. Lamberti (Münster) .


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