Dorothea of Montau
Dorothea (or Dorothy) of Montau (German: Dorothea von Montau; Polish: Dorota z Mątowów) (6 February 1347 – 25 June 1394) was a hermitess and visionary of 14th century Germany. After centuries of veneration in Central Europe, she was canonized in 1976.
Dorothea of Montau
Cell of Dorothea of Montau in Kwidzyn
|Born||6 February 1347|
Groß Montau, Prussia (Mątowy Wielkie)
|Died||25 June 1394|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Feast||25 June 30 October|
Monastic state of the Teutonic Knights
parents of large families
Dorothea was born at Groß Montau, Prussia (Mątowy Wielkie) to the west of Marienburg (Malbork) to a wealthy farmer from Holland, Willem Swarte (Schwartze). She was married at the age of 16 or 17 to the swordsmith Adalbrecht of Danzig (Gdańsk), an ill-tempered man in his 40s. Almost immediately after marrying she began to experience visions. Her husband had little patience with her spiritual experiences and abused her. Later, she converted him and both made pilgrimages to Cologne, Aachen, and Einsiedeln. While Dorothea, with her husband's permission, was on pilgrimage to Rome, he died in 1389 or 1390. Of their nine children eight died, four in infancy, and four during the plague of 1383. The surviving daughter, Gertrud, joined the Benedictines.
In the summer of 1391 Dorothea moved to Marienwerder (Kwidzyn), and on 2 May 1393, with the permission of the chapter and of the Teutonic Order, established a hermit's cell against the wall of the cathedral. She never left that cell for the rest of her life.
Dorothea led a very austere life. Numerous visitors sought her advice and consolation, and she had visions and revelations. Her confessor, the deacon Johannes of Marienwerder, a learned theologian, wrote down her communications and composed a Latin biography in seven books, Septililium, besides a German life in four books, printed by Jakob Karweyse.
Dorothea was venerated popularly from the moment of her death as the guardian of the country of the Teutonic Knights and patron saint of Prussia/Pomerania. In 1405, 257 witnesses described her virtues and miracles. The formal process of canonisation, however, was broken off, and not resumed until 1955; she was finally beatified by Pope Paul VI (cultus confirmed) in 1976.