Here is a mind blowing reincarnation story that took 765 years to come full circle for one soul. It all started in the 13th century in Cologne Germany. The then ruler and Bishop of the Cologne region, Arch Bishop Konrad Von Hochstaden, perceived the need to create a bigger, more magnificent Cathedral to house the bones of the Three Magi that were brought to the City by his predecessor decades prior. An increasing number of pilgrims were streaming to Cologne to venerate the relics and Konrad saw the opportunity to increase the prestige of the city and to draw even more pilgrims. Konrad set in motion the process of planning and financing the new Cathedral. In 1248, he laid the foundation stone for the choir of the cathedral. In 1261, Konrad was assassinated, but the building of the Cathedral continued. Medieval cathedrals take centuries to complete and this was certainly the case for the Cologne Cathedral. Building was halted in 1473, leaving it unfinished for 400 years.
In the 1500’s, the soul of Konrad returned to life as Thaddeus, the abbot of the Cistercian monastery of nearby Kamp-Linfort. Coincidently, Abbot Thaddeus did visit the unfinished Cologne Cathedral on more than one occasion, but never realized his intimate spiritual link to the Cathedral.
300 years later, the German government restarted the construction of the Cathedral and it was finally completed to the original plan, in 1880. It was not until August 1st, 2013, that the soul of Konrad once again returned to his cathedral in the body of Frank Mares.
I described my spiritual enlightment and discovery that I had once lived a life as the Arch Bishop Konrad Von Hochstaden in my book My Journey down the Reincarnation Highway. It was only natural that I would want to visit the Cathedral and took the opportunity during our family vacation to Europe. Our vacation started in London and then we moved on to a few days in Paris. Finally we took a train to Cologne. The Cologne train station is situated literally right next to the Cathedral. When I stepped out of the train station and beheld the sight of the huge and beautiful Cathedral, my face broke out in a big grin. I definitely felt a connection to the place. Dragging my wheeled suitcase behind me, I rushed to the front of the Dome to get a better look. I felt entranced and my wife had to drag me away so that we could find our hotel.
During our day and a half visit to Cologne, I visited the Cathedral three times. The first time I went alone when my family was settling into the hotel room. I walked through the massive front doors and came across the holy water fonts. In my life as Frank, I was always very uncomfortable with Catholic rites of worship, however, in this Cathedral, I took the holy water and made the sign of the cross. This was the first time I ever did this rite in my current life. I then went to the pews and knelt to pray (another first for me). My prayer was simple; I thanked God for my enlightenment in this life. Then got up and took in the magnificent ceiling and stained-glass windows. I then went to the back of the Cathedral in the choir section, the volunteers of the Cathedral were shooing visitors out of the area as the floors were being cleaned. I only caught a glimpse of Konrad’s tomb, before I had to turn back.
The next morning, Karol and I visited the Cathedral while the kids slept in. I brought a white rose with me so that I could leave it at Konrad’s tomb. Together we made our way back to the choir area and stood by St. John’s Chapel where Konrad’s effigy and tomb lays facing a beautiful stained-glass window. I paid homage to my old self by placing the rose in the iron fence grid that encloses the chapel. Karol snapped pictures of my little ceremony. I took some time to gaze upon my old face, it was hard to break away and leave that particular experience.
Right next to the tomb of Konrad, is a large mosaic of Konrad holding the building layout of this Cathedral flanked by his clergy and also flanked by a knight holding Konrad’s sword and shield. Karen put a picture of me holding my book over this mosaic. This mosaic lies between Konrad’s tomb and a magnificent jeweled golden box that contains the relics of the three Magi. Karol and I admired the beauty of the Golden box. When you step back and think about, those relics were the very reason my soul started this unique spiritual journey. I now closed the circle.
Later that day, I visited the cathedral again with my daughter Jani, where visited the cathedral’s treasury museum. We were cautioned by the ticket clerk not to take photos in the museum. In one of the rooms, I found the Bishop’s staff (also known as the Crosier or Bishop’s crook) that Konrad once used. Made of gold it was a stunning piece of art. It was mind boggling to think that I once held that staff in a different body. I had my Iphone with me. Although it was verboten, I took a picture of my old staff. I gave myself permission. Why not? This was my cathedral and that was my staff!