Tuesday, July 15, 2008

St. Gertrude of Nivelles, Patron Saint of Cats

Click here for the original Photo Source.

Here is a portion of her profile at the Patron Saints Index:

Younger daughter of Blessed Pepin I of Landen and Blessed Ida of Nivelles; sister of Saint Begga. Devoted to religious life from an early age, she turned down a noble marriage to pursue the religious life. On the death of Pepin in 639, and on the advice of Saint Amand of Maastricht, Ida built a double monastery at Nivelles where both she and her daughter retired. Gertrude became abbess about age 20.

Known for her hospitality to pilgrims and aid to Irish missionary monks, she gave land to Saint Foillan, on which he built the monastery of Fosses. Helped Saint Ultan in his evangelization. In 656, Gertrude resigned her office in favor of her niece, Saint Wilfetrudis, and spent the rest of her days studying Scripture and doing penance. Mystic. Visionary. Died at the significant age of 33, the age of Our Lord at His death.

She is also the Patroness of gardeners, among many other things. Traditional portrayals of her show mice running up her staff.

Her feast day is March 17.

A more detailed biography at the Catholic Encyclopedia

1 comment:

Kelly said...

There is a beautiful restored church in her honor in Nivelles, Belgium. (I was an exchange student in the town for a year.) The Collegiale was bombed during WWII, but with much love and hard work, restored by its citizenry. (My great-uncle was a POW with the architect who led the restorative efforts, so I was able to meet him too.)

The parish and community have an annual pilgrimage walk around the countryside, traveling some of the same landscape that St. Gertrude walked herself as she helped those in her community.

Kelly in Ohio