Created in: ca 1380
Technique: stone carving
Conservation: reconstructed in 1896
St. Meinhard (1130/1140–1196), is the first known Christian missionary in Livonia.
When Meinhard arrived in Livonia around the year of 1180, he was a canon of an Augustine monastery in Segeborg Abbey in the city of Luebeck.
The Medieval chroniclers describe Meinhard as humble, patient and utterly committed to the mission. They also tell about a miraculous event with corn bins. In a particularly lean year they witnessed a miracle performed by God – they found empty corn bins filled up with flour.
Meinhard, recalling the Word of God from the Gospels said: “What you give to the poor without deceit you have offered to me”, and then he summoned the starving people and gave them this gift from God.
Bishop Meinhard died on August 14 (or October 11), 1196 and was buried in the church of Ikskile. In 1380, Riga Archbishop Johann IV von Sinten (?–1397) ordered the transfer of Meinard’s remains from Ikšķile to the Riga Cathedral, and first buried on the northern side of the altar, but later transferred to a specially made niche.
Bishop Meinhard was canonized in 1995.
Inscriptions: The front of the sarcophagus still contains a partly readable Latin text: Hac. sunt. in. fossa. meynhardi. praesulis. ossa. [nobris] primo. fidem. dedit. annis. quatuor. idem.[actis] millenis. centeniss. nonaq. genis + [annis cum] senis. hic. ab. his. it. ad. ethera [poenis] [IV idu]s. mensis octobris +. (“This grave contains Bishop Meinard’s bones. In the beginning, he converted us to [the Christian] faith. It was the 12th of October of the year 1196 when he passed away after the sufferings [he endured] in this world.”)