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VIGNETTES ON SAINTS




ST. GODELIEVE (10000 a.d.)

 

St. Godelieve was born in Belgium of noble parents. As a child, she was known to be holy because of her loving care for the poor. She wanted to be a cloistered nun, but one suitor, Bertolf, used his political power to get the beautiful girl to be his bride.

 

After the wedding, Godelieve's mother-in-law treated her brutally. She was confined in a cell with hardly anything to eat. Her husband sided with his mother and claimed that Godelieve was an unworthy wife. 

 

Godelieve was able to escape and return to her home where she reported everything to the Bishop. When confronted, Bertolf promised the bishop to treat his wife better but never kept his promise. He went on a trip, leaving orders to his servants to drown Godelieve. Thus, Godelieve died at twenty-one. 

 

When Bertolf remarried, he had a daughter who was born blind. But when she washed her face in the pool where Godelieve was drowned, she miraculously received her sight. So affected by this, Bertolf confessed to the murder of his wife, Godelieve, and entered a monastery where he lived a life of penance. 

 

A Benedictine abbey was built at the request of Bertolf which has become a place of pilgrimage and many miracles. Godelieve is an intercessor for peace in the family and for battered wives. 

 

 

 

 

 

(10-01-02)

 

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                                                                                        - Teresa of Avila

 


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