Gondulph of Maastricht

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Saint Gondulph
Saint Gondulph looking up from his grave.
(reliquary, Cinquantenaire Museum, Brussels)
Born 6th century
Died 614 or later
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Feast June 17 [1]
Attributes Often depicted with Monulph, both holding miniature churches

Gondulph (also Gundulphus, perhaps also Bethulphus) of Maastricht, sometimes of Tongeren (6th/7th century) was a Bishop of Tongeren-Maastricht and is venerated as a Roman Catholic saint. Saint Gondulph is one of the patron saints of the city of Maastricht, together with Saint Servatius and Saint Monulph.


According to some 11th century sources it was his predecessor Monulph who transferred the see of the bishopric from Tongeren to Maastricht. However, the official title episcopus Tungrorum (bishop of Tongeren) was retained until the 10th century, even when the episcopal see had by that time been transferred from Maastricht to Liège.

Bishop Gondulph has remained a somewhat enigmatic figure. One is inclined to question whether he could be identical with Monulph but the two saints must nevertheless be distinguished.

Monulph must have occupied the See of Tongeren-Maastricht until the end of the 6th, beginning of the 7th century, because a bishop of Maastricht named Betulphus was present at the Council of Paris in 614. Gondulph then could have been inserted between Monulph and Betulphus, at least if Betulphus must not be identified with Gondulph. The case is similar to the situation in the Archbishopric of Mainz, where Bertulfus and Crotoldus seem to be identical. Furthermore, the episcopal lists of the 11th and 12th centuries, which value is not very great, ignore the historically attested Betulphus, and make Gondulph the immediate successor of Monulph. The biographies of Gondulph from the Middle Ages are largely extracts from the Vita Servatii by the French priest Jocundus, which are not entirely trustworthy.

If Jocundus is to be believed, Gondulph endeavoured to rebuild the town of Tongeren, which had been destroyed during the barbarian invasions. Heavenly intervention caused furious wolves to attack the pagan colonists of the region and devoured them before the eyes of the horrified bishop. Legend thus has obscured the historical facts about Gondulph. According to tradition he occupied the episcopal see of Maastricht for seven years. This last date does not allow for his presence at the Paris council in 614. He was buried in the nave of the church of Saint Servatius in Maastricht, which was built by his predecessor Monulph.

The bodies of Monulph and Gondulph were solemnly exhumed in 1039 by the Bishops Nithard of Liège and Gerard of Florennes, Bishop of Cambrai in the presence of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor. An epitaph commemorating this event was later misinterpreted, and gave rise to a legend according to which the two saints arose from their tomb in 1039 in order to assist at the dedication of Aachen cathedral.

Gondulph was thought to have been married to Palatina de Troyes. They had a son named Baudgise D'Aquitaine II, who became Duke of Aquitaine, France.[citation needed]


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