November 7 – Martyred in Mecca

November 5, 2018

Saint Ernest of MeccaSaint Ernest of Mecca

Abbot of the abbey of Zwiefalten

Died     1148 AD in Mecca
Feast     November 7

Saint Ernest (died 1148) was the abbot of the Benedictine Zwiefalten Abbey at Zwiefalten, Germany during the 12th century. He participated in the Second Crusade fought by Christians between 1145 and 1149 to regain the Holy Land, including Jerusalem.

Not much is known about Saint Ernest’s life. He was born in Steisslingen, Germany, and had been the abbot of the Benedictine abbey of Zwiefalten, Germany during the 12th century.

Subscription20When St. Bernard called for participation in the Second Crusade to recapture Jerusalem and other holy lands, Ernest decided to participate in it. Before leaving, he is said to have told the monks and laymen brothers of the abbey, “The death I am destined to die matters little so long as it allows me to suffer for the love of Christ.” The crusade was led by Emperor Conrad III of Germany, the emperor’s brother Otto of Freising and St. Ernest. The crusade was not successful. Among the two or three hundred thousand Christians who went, only a few hundred returned two years later.

Zwiefalten Abbey

Zwiefalten Abbey

St. Ernest himself did not reach Jerusalem. He was taken captive to Mecca by a commander of the king of Persia. He was ordered to embrace Islam by the Persian king. He refused, and was tortured and martyred.


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