Herman from his earliest years was a devoted client of the Mother of God. As a little child he used to spend all his play-time in the church at Cologne before an image of Mary, where he received many favors. One bitter winter day, as little Herman was coming barefooted into church, his heavenly Mother appearing to him, asked him lovingly why his feet were bare in such cold weather. “Alas! dear Lady,” he said, “it is because my parents are so poor.” She pointed to a stone, telling him to look beneath it; there he found four silver pieces wherewith to buy shoes; he did not forget to return and thank her. She enjoined him to go to the same spot in all his wants, and disappeared. Never did the supply fail him; but his comrades, moved by a different spirit, could find nothing.
Once Our Lady stretched out her hand and took an apple which the boy offered her in pledge of his love. Another time he saw her high up in the tribune, with the Holy Child and St. John; he longed to join them, but saw no way of doing so; suddenly he found himself placed by their side, and holding sweet converse with the Infant Jesus.
At the age of twelve he entered the Premonstratensian house at Steinfeld, and there led an angelic life of purity and prayer. His fellow-novices, seeing what graces he received from Mary, called him Joseph.
Reflection. — Do not approach our Blessed Mother with set prayers only. Be intimate with her; confide in her; commend to her every want and every project, small as well as great. It is a childlike reliance and a trustful appeal which she delights to reward.
Text from Pictorial Lives of the Saints With Reflections for Every Day in the Year (New York: Benziger Bros., 1922).