Kraeuter und Gott/ God and Herbs: 15 August: Mariä Himmelfahrt (Assumption of Mary)

15 August: Mariä Himmelfahrt/ the Assumption of Mary

On Roman Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran liturgical Calendars.

Luther was very fond of this day on which he loved to preach. He once exclaimed, “Who could doubt that the Lord would take His mother to Heaven to be with Him?”
Bundle of Seven Herbs (representing the Seven Wounds of Mary) are taken to church and blessed. They are later hung in the house or attic against storms, illness, etc. Oberweissbach in Thuringia, home of Friedrich Froebel, is well known for his Herbal cultivation and extracts, teas, herbal medicines. Bad Blankenburg, where the First Kindergarten was established, is a center for Lavender cultivation. Froebel was fond of using Marian herbal references in his songs and writing.

Legenden erzählen, dass die Jünger das Grab der Maria öffneten und darin nicht mehr Marias Leichnam, sondern nur noch Blüten und Kräuter fanden…. sieben verschiedene Kräutern – die Zahl symbolisiert die sieben Sakramente oder die sieben Schmerzen Mariens – werden Sträusse gebunden und zur feierlichen Kräuterweihe gebracht. Die Sträusse werden dann auf dem Dachboden aufgehängt und sollen gegen Krankheiten, Unheil, Gewitter und Blitzschlag helfen, oft werden zerriebene Blätter davon kranken Tieren ins Futter gemischt.


Franconian Origins:

Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel’s paternal aunt, Johanna Sophia Dorothea Froebel was married to Johann Gotthelf Greiner, whose family Wappen (coat of arms) is fashioned in Red and White, colors denoting Franconian (Franken) origins.

These origins are the same for the Froebel family, which could trace its earlier residence to the vicinity of HAMMELBURG in Franconia.

Frankish kings Theodoric I and Chlotar I gained control over Thuringia in 531 AD, while the Thuringians were converted to Christianity by St Boniface with his assistant, St Wigbert, in the 8th century.

The Greiners were well known for porcelain and glass manufacturing in Thuringia.

In following ancient Thuringian custom, it is thought that JOHANNA and Johann GOTTHELF were among the four godparents for Friedrich Froebel’s eldest brother, Johann August Gotthelf Froebel, as each has a name imbedded in that of the godson.

Johanna is author’s 5th great grand aunt, while Johann Gotthelf “August” Froebel is the author’s 4th great grandfather.

The descendants of Johann Gotthelf and Johanna Sophia Dorothea Greiner, nee FROEBEL and those of Johann August Gotthelf Froebel, both in the USA, are still in regular contact.



Birth: 22 Feb 1732 in Alsbach, Principality Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, Thueringen, Germany

Death: 12 Aug 1797 in Limbach, Duchy Sachsen-Meiningen, Thueringen, Germany


Birth: 7 Dec 1736 in Neuhaus Am Rennweg, Principality Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, Thueringen, Germany

Death: 11 Oct 1792 in Limbach, Duchy of Sachsen-Meiningen, Thueringen, Germany  greinerAUGUSTGOTTHELFFROEBEL

Heidecksburg Castle, Rudolstadt

The Princely House  von Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and the family of Friedrich Froebel were closely intertwined for centuries.

Friedrich Froebel’s grandfather, Johannes, was the fuerstlicher Foerster (forester to the Prince).

Friedrich’s father, Rev. Johann Jakob Froebel, was the pastor of the largest village church in the principality and had overseen its construction in the Late Baroque style. The earlier church had been burned in the Thirty Year’s War, while the new church (still standing today) boasts the largest pulpit in Europe (holding 13 men in clear Biblical reference).

Friedrich himself was visited in Yverdon, Switzerland by the heir apparent to the princely throne, Prince Friedrich Guenther, upon the express wish of his mother, the Princess Regent, Karoline von Hessen-Homburg, who insisted her son write to her with a detailed account of all news concerning Friedrich.

This Princess of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt granted a large sum of money for Froebel’s educational endeavors, never asking for repayment.
The Froebel family, originating in Franconia (Franken), moved into the Principality in the 15th century when it inherited/acquired large agricultural estates in Gross Hettstedt and vicinity.

The relative closeness of the two families may have predated the Froebels’ entrance to the principality, dating from their earlier residence in Franken.

Friedrich’s half brother, Carl (Carolus) Poppo Froebel, later became the Printer to the Princely House and a respected author in his own right.

Here a photo taken by the author of part of the Sleigh collection of the Prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt in the Heidecksburg Castle, the princely residence in Rudolstadt, Thuringia, Germany.

Froebel’s Birthday

In Oberweissbach many special events will be held on Easter Monday (21 April 2014) on which day Froebel’s 232nd birthday will be celebrated. Many thanks to friends at the Museum in Oberweissbach, located in the old parsonage in which Froebel was born, for this list of events:


Chancellor Merkel

bundesbrief2Upon receiving of copy of The Life of Frederick Froebel: Founder of Kindergarten

English translation:

The Office of the Federal Chancellor

Dear Mr Froebel-Parker,

The book, The Life of Frederick Froebel: Founder of Kindergarten , has already arrived, as recently announced by you.

The Federal Chancellor has asked me to promptly relay this to you. At the same time, she thanks you for the presentation of a copy. She was very pleased with your kind gesture.

I can only hope that Hollywood, to which you have already reached out, will recognize in it material worthy of a film. We will be intent to find out if it will come to fruition.

Best wishes from Berlin for you,

With Friendly Regards,

Paperback and Kindle

UAlbany Spring 2014

The Life of Frederick Froebel: Founder of Kindergarten edited, annotated with illustrations and commentary by J (Johannes) Froebel-Parker was featured in the University at Albany, UAlbany Magazine, Spring 2014

Buy this book at

Buy this book at in Paperback or Kindle

Denton Jacques Snider wrote about Friedrich (Frederick) Froebel and his life experiences which led to the founding of the first kindergarten. A Froebel family member and author of two children’s books about Froebel and kindergarten, expands this publication designed for readers a hundred years ago to make it a timeless reference.