Suitbert Bäumer

Suitbert Bäumer (28 March 1845 – 12 August 1894) was a Benedictine monk and historian of the Breviary and one of the most scholarly patrologists of the nineteenth century.


He was born at Haus Leuchtenberg, Kaiserswerth, in the Lower Rhine region of Germany. He studied at the universities of Bonn and Tübingen; in 1865 he entered the Benedictine Beuron Archabbey, then newly founded, and was ordained priest in 1869.

The years 1875-90 were spent at Maredsous Abbey in Belgium and at Erdington in England; in the latter year he returned to Beuron. Dom Bäumer was long the critical adviser of the printing house of Desclée, Lefebvre and associates at Tournai, for their editions of the Missal, Breviary, Ritual, Pontifical, and other liturgical works.

He contributed a number of valuable essays to leading reviews, e.g. on the Stowe Missal (the oldest liturgical record of the Irish Church) in the "Zeitschrift f. kath. Theologie" (1892), on the author of the "Micrologus" (an important medieval liturgical treatise) in "Neues Archiv" (1893), on the "Sacramentarium Gelasianum" in the "Historisches Jahrbuch" (1893).

He also wrote a life of Mabillon (1892) and a treatise on the history and content of the Apostles' Creed (1893).

His most important work is his history of the Roman Breviary, Geschichte des Breviers: Versuch einer quellenmässigen Darstellung der Entwicklung des altkirchlichen u. des römischen Officiums bis auf unsere Tage (Freiburg i. Breisgau, Herder: 1895; French tr., R. Biron, Paris: 1905). In this work he condensed the labours of several generations of erudite students of the Breviary and the best critical results of the modern school of historical liturgists.

He died at Freiburg on 12 August 1894.


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