St. Aldegondes, V. Abbess

Author: Rev. Alban Butler


Feast: January 30

She was daughter of Walbert, of the royal blood of France, and born in Hainault about the year 630. She consecrated herself to God by a vow of virginity, when very young, and resisted all solicitations to marriage, serving God in the house of her holy parents, till, in 638, she took the religious veil, and founded and governed a great house of holy virgins at Maubeuge. She was favored with an eminent gift of prayer, and many revelations; but was often tried by violent slanders and persecutions, which she looked upon as the highest favors of the divine mercy, begging of God that she might be found worthy to suffer still more for his sake. His divine providence sent her a lingering and most painful cancer in her breast. The saint bore the torture of her distemper, also the caustics and incisions of the surgeons, not only with patience, but even with joy, and expired in raptures of sweet love, on the 30th of January, in 660, according to Bollandus. Her relics are enshrined in the great church of Maubeuge, where her monastery is now a college of noble virgins canonesses. Her name occurs on this day in the ancient breviary of Autun, and in the martyrologies of Rabanus, Usuard, and Notker: also in the Roman. At St. Omer, where a parish church bears her name, she is called Saint Orgonne. See her life written some time after her death: a second a century later, and a third by Hucbald, a learned monk of St. Armand's, in 900, with the remarks of Mabillon, (Act. Bened. t. 2, p. 937,) and the Bollandists. Consult also Miraeus's Fasti Belgici, and La Vie de St. Aldegonde, par P. Binet, Jesuite, in 12mo. Paris, 1625.

(Taken from Vol. I of "The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints" by the Rev. Alban Butler, the 1864 edition published by D. & J. Sadlier, & Company)