Wednesday, October 21, 2020

St Gertrude of Nivelles – Feast Day: March 17 – Saint of the Day

St Gertrude of Nivelles Biography

St Gertrude of Nivelles Profile. Born: 628 AD in Belgium, Europe. Worked in Belgium. Died: 17 March 659 AD in Nivelles, Belgium. Feast Day is celebrated on March 17.

The Memorial of Gertrude of Nivelles – Saint of the Day

Gertrude of Nivelles Biography

Date of Birth 628 AD
Country of Birth Belgium of Europe
Matrimony/Holy Orders Saints who were Nuns/Sisters
Profession Nun
Place of Work Belgium
Date of Death 17 March 659 AD
Place of Death Nivelles, Belgium
Feast Day March 17
Beatification Beatified by N/A
Canonization Canonized by Pope Clement XII not formally, in 1677
Patron Saint of

cats
against rats
against mental disorders
for accommodations
gardeners
hospitals

against fever
innkeepers

against insanity
mentally ill people
pilgrims
poor people
prisoners

against mice
recently dead people

against mental illness
Wattenscheid, Germany
sick people
suriphobics
travelers

against the fear of rats
widows

against the fear of mice
Landen, Belgium

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against suriphobia
Nivelles, Belgium
to obtain lodging while traveling

St Gertrude of Nivelles Biography

St Gertrude of Nivelles was born in 626 AD at Landen, Belgium. She was the Younger daughter of Saint Pepin of Landen and Saint Ida of Nivelles. She was also the sister of Saint Begga of Ardenne. Gertrude got devoted to her faith from an early age, she turned down a noble marriage to pursue religious life. Following the death of Pepin in 639 AD, 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 the head of the nuns at about the age of 20. Well known for her hospitality to pilgrims and the aid is given to Irish missionary monks. St Gertrude gave land to Saint Foillan, on which he built the monastery at Fosses, Belgium.

She helped Saint Ultan in his evangelization. In 656 AD, She then had to resign her office in favor of her niece, Saint Wilfetrudis of Nivelles and spent the rest of her days studying Scripture and doing penance. Mystic and visionary. She then died at the significant age of 33, the age of Our Lord at His death.

St Gertrude of Nivelles

Gertrude’s Life

The cultus of Saint Gertrude spread widely in the Low Countries, neighboring regions, and England, and folklore attached to her name. As late as 1822 AD, offerings of gold and of silver mice were left at her shrine in Cologne, Germany.

The Mice is a representation of souls in Purgatory, to whom she had a great devotion. She is known as the patron of gardeners because fine weather on her feast day meant it was time to begin spring planting. Her patronage of travelers comes from her, because of her hospitality to pilgrims.

She is invoked as a patroness of those who had recently died, who was popularly supposed to experience a three-day journey to the next world. They used to spend the first night under the care of Gertrude, and the second under Michael the Archangel.

There is a legend who says that one day she sent some of her subjects to a distant country, promising that no misfortune would befall them on the journey. When they were on the ocean, a large sea-monster threatened to capsize their ship but disappeared upon the invocation of Saint Gertrude. In memory of this occurrence travelers during the Middle ages drank the so-called “Sinte Geerts Minne” or “Gertrudenminte” before setting out on their journey.

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