Rictrude

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Rictrude (Rictrudis, Richtrudis, Richrudis) (c. 614–688) was abbess of Marchiennes Abbey, in Flanders. The main early source for her life is the Vita Rictrudis, commissioned by the abbey, and written in 907 by Hucbald.[1]

Life[edit]

She was from a noble family in Gascony, the daughter of Ernoldo, lord of Toulouse.[2] She married Adalbard, Duke of Douai, despite the opposition of some members of her family. In Hucbald's account, this is shown deliberately as a model marriage.[3] It is unclear whether she had four or five children. Her four known children were: Clotsinda, successor as abbess,[4] Adalsinda,[5] Eusebia and Maurantius.[6]

The couple opened their castle to the poor and disadvantaged. The hermit-monk Richarius was a family friend.[7] Around the year 630, Adalbald founded Marchiennes Abbey, on the advice of Amandus of Maastricht. In 643, Rictrude made it a double monastery.

Adalbard was murdered in obscure circumstances around 652, near Périgueux during a subsequent expedition to Aquitaine, probably by his wife's relatives still bitter about the marriage to an enemy of her people. After her husband's death, Rictrude resisted royal pressure to remarry and retired to Marchiennes Abbey, with her daughters and became abbess.[8] In this she was supported by Amandus, Abbot of Elnon. Rectrude died in 688.[9]

Rictrude is recognized as a Catholic saint; her feast day is 12 May. Her four children are also saints.

Clotsinda[edit]

Born around 638, Clotsinda was a younger daughter of Rictrude and Adalbard duke of Douai,[10] In 688, she succeeded her mother as the second abbess of the double monastery of Marchiennes Abbey.[11] She died around 714.[12] Her siblings Maurontius, Adalsinda and Eusebia are also honored as saints.

Her feast day is of May 5; Closinda is especially venerated in Douai.[13] In the Orthodox faith, she is commemorated on June 30.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Karine Ugé, The Legend of Saint Rictrude, pp. 283-4, in John Gillingham, Anglo-Norman Studies 23: Proceedings of the Battle Conference 2000 (2001)
  2. ^ "Sant 'Adalbaldo", Santi e Beati, November 1, 2008
  3. ^ Philip Lyndon Reynolds, Marriage in the Western Church (2001), p. 411.
  4. ^ Matthew Bunson, Stephen Bunson, Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints (2003), p. 214.
  5. ^ Bunson and Bunson, p. 34.
  6. ^ Saint of the Day, May 12: Rictrudis of Marchiennes SaintPatrickDC.org. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  7. ^ Van den Akker sj, Dries. "Adalbald of Douai", Heiligen, 2008
  8. ^ Cristiani, Léon. "Liste chronologique des saints de France, des origines à l'avènement des carolingiens", Revue d'histoire de l'Église de France, 1945, p. 76
  9. ^ "Sainte Rictrude", Nominis
  10. ^ Matthew Bunson, Stephen Bunson, Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints (2003), p. 214.
  11. ^ Cristiani, Léon. "Liste chronologique des saints de France, des origines à l'avènement des carolingiens", Revue d'histoire de l'Église de France, 1945, p. 76
  12. ^ "Sainte Clotsinde", Nominis
  13. ^ "Litany from Douai 14th century". Archived from the original on 2015-03-28. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
  14. ^ "30 Juin", Orthodoxie

Sources[edit]

  • Jo Ann McNamara, John E. Halborg, E. Gordon Whatley (1992), Sainted Women of the Dark Ages, pp. 195–219