Gero from Cologne

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Photo of the founder of the Gero Codex: Gero hands over the Codex to St. Peter

Gero (* around 900 in Saxony ; † June 28, 976 in Cologne ) was Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cologne from 969 to 976 .

Live and act

Its origin is not known with certainty. He was probably the son of Margrave Christian von Serimunt and his wife Hidda , the sister of Margrave Gero .

Nothing is known about his education and most of his life. The person of Gero is probably identical to a presbyter of the same name named in 966 at Cologne Cathedral . He was Cologne canon and domkustos in Cologne and chaplain of the emperor. Before 969 he donated the Gero Codex . In addition to the concern for the salvation of his soul, the goal of gaining competitive advantages in a future archbishop's election may also have played a role.

In 969 he was elected Archbishop of Cologne, which is said to have initially met with rejection from Emperor Otto I. At least this is what Thietmar von Merseburg reported . The extent to which this report is authentic remains controversial. Finally, in 970, the emperor approved the election.

Apparently the emperor's attitude towards Gero has changed as he entrusted him with an important mission. In 971 Gero set out for Constantinople and brought Princess Theophanu with him from his trip to Rome as bride for the heir to the throne Otto (later Emperor Otto II) . At the same time Gero brought the relics of St. Pantaleon with him to Cologne; they have been in St. Pantaleon's Church since that time . In 972 he took part in the Synod of Ingelheim and, together with the Archbishop of Magdeburg in 973, led the funeral ceremonies for Otto I in Magdeburg. Apart from the legation to Constantinople, he had not played an important role under Otto I or Otto II. In 975 he was present at a Reichstag in Weimar .

Even after his election, he showed personal piety. In 970 Gero and his brother, Margrave Thietmar I of Meißen , founded the Thankmarsfelde monastery in the Harz near Ballenstedt . In 974 he also founded the Benedictine Abbey of Gladbach . After 971 he had the famous Gero Cross made for Cologne Cathedral .

He died in Cologne on June 28, 976 and was buried in Cologne Cathedral. His tomb was built around 1260 in the St. Stephen's Chapel of the cathedral.

Gero is considered a saint in the Catholic Church. His feast day (name day) is celebrated on the day after his death, on June 29th. The Geroweiher, a pond in a park below the Mönchengladbach Minster , was named after the Cologne bishop.


Web links


  1. Michael Gosmann: Power and Wealth. Gero - person and history. In: Ders., Peter Michael Kleine, Kathrin Ueberholz: The Gero Codex returns. The painted book of Wedinghausen. Documentation volume on the exhibition of the Gero Codex in Wedinghausen Monastery from October 24, 2009 to January 17, 2010. Arnsberg, 2010 p. 75f.
  2. Otto I. (RI II) n. 506a 969 dec. 25 Papiae Regest on ri-online
  3. Erich WisplinghoffGero. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 6, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1964, ISBN 3-428-00187-7 , p. 312 ( digitized version ).
  4. ^ Otto I. (RI II) n.515a 970 march 27 Ravennae Regest on ri-online
  5. ^ Otto I. (RI II) n. 533a Regest on ri-online
  6. Otto I. (RI II) n.536b 972 apr. 14 Romae Regest on ri-online
  7. Otto II. (RI II) n. 606a 973 June 3 or 4, Magdeburg Regest on ri-Online
  8. Otto II. (RI II) n. 685a 975 June 3 (?), Weimar. Register on ri-Online
predecessor Office successor
Folcmar Archbishop of Cologne
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