Saint Otto- Caught Between Two Masters
His greatest service was his missionary work among the Pomeranians. In the Peace with Poland in 1120 the latter had engaged to adopt Christianity. Attempts to convert them through Polish priests and through an Italian Bishop, Bernard, proved futile. Duke Boleslaus III then appealed to Otto, and it is due to Otto that the undertaking partook of a German character. Through an understanding with the pope, who appointed him legate, the emperor and the princes, he started in May, 1124, and traveled through Prague, Breslau, Posen, and Gnesen in East Pomerania, was received by the duke with great respect, and won over the people through his quiet yet firm attitude, his magnificent appearance, generous donations, and gentle, inspiring sermons. He converted Pyritz, Kammin, Stettin, Julin, and in nine places established eleven churches; 22,165 persons were baptized.