April 9 – She persuaded her husband the Count to become a monk

April 7, 2014

St. Waudru

Statue of St. Waltrude

She was daughter to the princess St. Bertille, elder sister to St. Aldegondes, and wife to Madelgaire, count of Hainault, and one of the principal lords of King Dagobert’s court.

After bearing him two sons and two daughters, she induced him to embrace the monastic state at Haumont, near Maubeuge, taking the name of Vincent. He is honoured in Flanders among the saints on the 20th of September, and called St. Vincent of Soignies.

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She remained two years longer in the world, devoting herself entirely to exercises of piety, under the direction of the holy abbot St. Guislain. Being by that time disengaged from the encumbrances of the world, she received the religious veil at the hands of St. Aubert, bishop of Cambray, in 656, and lived in a little cell, adjoining to which was a chapel in a solitary place called Castriloc, or Castle-place, now Mons.

Many other ladies resorting to her, she formed a religious community, which is at present a rich royal chapter of canonesses. From her reputation and from this community arose the city of Mons, now the capital of Hainault.

Reliquary of St. Waltrude

Reliquary of St. Waltrude

Whilst her sister Aldegondes governed her great monastery at Maubeuge, Vautrude sanctified herself in her little cell by holy poverty, meekness, patience, continual fasting and prayer. She suffered much from the slanders of men, and from severe interior trials and temptations: but God, after some years, recompensed her fidelity with a holy peace, and great spiritual consolations.

On the 9th of April, 686, she went to receive the crown promised by God to those who serve him. Her relics are esteemed the most precious treasure of the great church which bears her name. She is titular patroness of Mons, and all Hainault.

By the life of St. Vautrude, we should learn to despise the unjust censures of the world. It persecutes by its calumnies those by whose lives its false maxims are condemned: but it can only hurt a counterfeit virtue, as the fire consumes only the dross, but renders true gold brighter and more pure. Solid virtue is not only tried by humiliations, but gains the greatest advantage and improvement by making a good use of them.

Sainte-Waudru collegiate Church

Sainte-Waudru collegiate Church

See her ancient life in Mabill. Sæc. 2. Bened. also Miræus.

The Lives of the Saints, Vol. IV: April, by Rev. Alban Butler, New York, D.&J. Sadlier Publishers, 1866, pp. 59-60.

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