Joseph Ignaz of Ah

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Joseph Ignaz von Ah (born December 15, 1834 in Sachseln , † September 1, 1896 in Kerns ; pseudonyms: Weltüberblicker, Hartmann von Baldegg ) was a Swiss Catholic priest , newspaper man and writer .


Joseph Ignaz von Ah came from the Obwalden family of Ah , which is documented from the end of the 15th century. He was the oldest of five children of the small farmer and shoemaker Theodul von Ah and Anna Maria born in Sachseln . In The Field. He received his high school education from the Benedictines at the college in Sarnen and from 1851 to 1853 at the collegiate school of the Einsiedeln monastery , where he mainly received lessons in philosophy and physics . Gall Morel and Karl Brandes were among the teachers who had a lasting influence on him . He completed his theological studies at the St. Luzi seminary in Chur and initially worked as a temporary worker at the boys' seminary in Chur, since he had not yet reached the required age for priestly ordination.

On August 9, 1857, Joseph Ignaz von Ah was ordained a priest and celebrated his first mass in Sachseln on August 16 , with Gall Morel preaching the festive sermon. From October 1857 to November 1859 he worked as vicar at the Catholic Church in Bern , for the construction of which he collected contributions on long trips, especially in Austria. At a young age, among other things because of his literary acquaintance with French pulpit speakers and liberal Catholicism, in 1857 he co-founded the Piusverein , the forerunner of the Swiss Catholic Association and thus a predecessor of the Swiss Catholic People's Association . From 1859 to 1863 he served as vicar at the St. Nicholas Church in Freiburg im Üechtland . During this time he learned the French language .

From November 19, 1863, Joseph Ignaz von Ah worked in Stans as a catechist and teacher and from 1866 as an early knife . He then worked as a pastor in Kerns from September 29, 1867 until his death . In addition, he worked from 1873 to 1887 as a cantonal school inspector and held this position again from 1895 for a year and a half until his death. From 1874 he was also a member of the cantonal education council. He contributed a lot to improve Obwalden's difficult school conditions . In June 1888 the Bishop of Chur appointed him commissioner for Obwalden and on November 2nd Kerns granted him citizenship.

As a world surveyor , Joseph Ignaz von Ah wrote a weekly editorial on the world situation for 30 years in the Nidwaldner Volksblatt , which he founded with his friends at the end of 1866. These original, witty and popularly written weekly reports gave the paper an unusual distribution, even beyond the borders of Switzerland, and from Ah the reputation of a well-known publicist . Over 1500 editorials had appeared by the time of his death. As a supplement to the Nidwaldner Volksblatt , he edited the Swiss monthly newspaper for Catholic literature in 1878 and the literary sheets for Catholic Switzerland from 1879 to 1880 .

Joseph Ignaz von Ah first emerged as a poet under the pseudonym Hartmann von Baldegg in 1858 with Subsylvania, historical-romantic festival . He later wrote other folk plays, including Der Löwe von Luzern (1881), Arnold von Winkelried (1888) and Hans Waldmann (1888). As a thorough expert on Swiss history, he distinguished himself less through his own research than through his original presentation. In 1876, as president of the historical association of the V Orte, he gathered its members around him. As a commemorative publication he published: The Federal Letters of the Old Confederates, 1291–1513 (1891). The vites of Karl Borromäus (1885) and Niklaus von Flüe (1887) serve more to build on the building . Together with J. Wipfli, he also translated the life of St. Catherine from French (1886).

Joseph Ignaz von Ah was also considered the most important pulpit speaker in Obwalden. As such, he gave popular, down-to-earth sermons in numerous Swiss pulpits. Many of his sermons were collected and edited by J. Beck after his death (5 volumes, 1904–1915). His literary and religious work gave von Ah an important reputation and a reputation that reached far beyond the borders of his homeland.


  • The Lion of Lucerne , 1881.
  • From the pious life and beneficial ministry of St. Borromeo , 1885.
  • The blessed hermit Nikolaus von Flüe, called Klaus zu Unterwalden, wonderful life , Einsiedeln 1887.
  • Arnold von Winkelried , 1888.
  • Hans Waldmann , 1888.
  • The federal letters of the old confederates 1291–1513. A reading book for the Swiss people and their schools , 1891.
  • Selected Sermons and Sermon Drafts , ed. by J. Beck, 5 volumes, 1904–1915.


Individual evidence

  1. Roland Sigrist: Ah, from. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  2. ^ Hans Stadler: Piusverein. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  3. Ephrem Omlin: The clergy Obwalden from the 13th century to the present. Sarnen 1984, p. 105.