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Life of Brother Klaus

Brother Klaus, who is the patron saint of Switzerland, was born in Flueli in 1417. For fifty years, he lived 'in the world', worked as a peasant, served as a soldier, and was happily married. He was father of ten children, carried out the functions of an alderman and judge who stood up for right and peace.
But in the heart of this esteemed man there was a restlessness that urged him away from his worldly task into a lonliness and nearness to God. Heimann Am Grund, the parish priest from Kriens, was his advisor and the helper on his way. In 1467 Klaus left his family and possessions and became a hermit. Even then he did not cease to be counsellor and peacemaker for his fellow countrymen. Above all is know his interference by the 'Tagessatzung' (council of the Swiss counties) in Stans in December 1481.
As for the rest he lived in his cell in the Ranft, a secluded glen of the Melcha valley. Nearly twenty years he lived there without food. The power of his prayer, his deep ties with god, and his theological clarity have been a miracle for his contemporaries by which they were attracted and at the same time terrified.
Brother Klaus died on March 21th 1487. He is still the quiet warning voice that cannot be ignored.

 

Prayer of Brother Klaus

O mein gott vnd mein herr,
nym mich mir, vnd gib mich gantz zw aygen dir.

O mein gott vnd mein herr,
nym von mir alles das mich hindert gegen dir.

O mein gott vnd mein herr,
gib mir alles, das mich fürdert zw dir. Amen.


The prayer ascribed to Br. Klaus is known in different versions. The text above is from a Prague manuscript of the 15./16. century.)

 

The Last Judgement

Good news for everybody

When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, he will sit in state on his throne, with all the nations gathered before him. He will separate men into two groups, as a shepherd saparates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right hand, 'You have my Father's blessing; come, enter and possess the kingdom that has been ready for you since the world was made. For when I was hungry, you gave me food; when thirsty, you gave me drink; when I was a stranger you took me into your home, when naked you clothed me; when I was ill you came to my help, when in prison you visited me.'
Then the righteous will reply, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and fed you, or thirsty and gave you drink, a stranger and took you home, or naked and clothed you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and come to visit you?' And the king will answer,
'I tell you this: anything you did for one of my brothers here, however humble, you did for  m e.'
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Poverty has a face - Extra Pauperes Nulla Salus

Bad news for those rich* who are selfish and blind

Then he will say to those on his left hand, 'The curse is upon you; go from my sight to the eternal fire that is ready for the devil and his angels. For when I was hungry you gave me nothing to eat, when thirsty nothing to drink; when I was a stranger you gave me no home, when naked you did not clothe me; when I was ill and in prison you did not come to my help.'
And they too will reply, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and did nothing for you?'
And he will answer, I tell you this: anything you did not do for one of these, however humble, you did not do for me. And they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous will enter eternal life. (Mt 25,31-46)

    This gospel is the origin for the 'bodily works of compassion'. In his mandala Saint Klaus from the Flue has connected them with the life and death of Jesus Christ who's present in the sacraments of the Church.
    * The antisocial rich who do not become aware of the Lazarus before their door are - according to the word of Jesus - unbelievers. Although they have Mose and the prophets they do not turn social. They will close their eyes also before the wounds of the risen Lord.
    Already during their lifetime on earth they are separated by an abyss from God and the poor Lazarus. God himself has to intervene that the wails of Jesus pierce to their hearts, but to him there is not anything impossible. Con-spiration for the poor prays for this wonder of the wails. (Lk 6,24-26).

Explanation of the Mandala

Link to the mandala before which Brother Klaus said his prayers
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