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Valerius Herberger (Hymn-Writer)

Born: April 21, 1562 - Fraustadt, Posen, Germany
Died: May 18, 1627 - Fraustadt, Posen, Germany

Valerius Herberger came close to missing his calling in his early days. For when he was but seventeen years old, his father died, and Valerius decided to become a shoemaker to support his mother. He was finally dissuaded from this plan by his relatives. He studied at Frankfurt a. Oder and at Leipzig. When he had been at the University of Leipzig for two years, he was called back to Fraustadt to teach school.

Later he became diaconus of St. Mary’s Church there, 1590, and finally chief pastor, 1599. Herberger was an outstanding preacher in his day. Because of his evangelical sermons, he was called: “Jesusprediger.” The Romanists nicknamed him “The little Luther.” He was also known under the name “the evangelical Abraham of Santa Clara”. He was severely tested by the events of the Counter-Reformation and suffered from the ravages of war. In 1604, his congregation at Fraustadt was ousted from its beautiful large church by King Sigismund III and the Cathoilc Poles to make room for a small group of Romanists. The new place of worship, actually ‘emergency’ church, was called “Kripplein Christi,” [“Christ’s Little Crib.”] and Herberger became known as the “Prediger am Kripplein Christi.”

Herberger was a man of prayer. He led a very good Christian life and set an excellent example for his people. He was known far and wide as a man with an apostolic spirit. Herberger published many writings, predominantly sermon books: Evangelische Herzpostille; Epistolische Herzpostille; Geistliche Trauerbinden (funeral sermons); Himmlisches Jerusalem.


Source: BCL Website [Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal]
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (August 2003), Thomas Braatz (September 2005)

Texts of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works

BWV 95

Chorale Texts used in Bach’s Vocal Works





Valet will ich dir geben

Links to other Sites

Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary Handbook - Biographies and Sources (BCL)




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