Alice of Schaerbeek
|St. Alice of Schaerbeek, O.Cist.|
|Virgin and laysister|
Schaerbeek, Duchy of Brabant, Holy Roman Empire
|Died||11 June 1250
La Cambre Abbey, Ixelles, Duchy of Brabant, Holy Roman Empire
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Canonized||Cultus confirmed 1907 by Pope Pius X|
|Patronage||The Blind, the Paralyzed|
Alice of Schaerbeek, O.Cist. (or Adelaide or Aleydis) (French: Sainte Alix), (1204–1250) was a Cistercian laysister who is venerated as the patron saint of the blind and paralyzed. Her feast day is June 15.
Alice was born at Schaerbeek, near Brussels, then in the Duchy of Brabant. A frail child, at the age of seven, she was sent to be boarded and educated at the Cistercian La Cambre Abbey, where she remained for the rest of her life. The name of the abbey is derived from the Latin: Camera Sanctae Mariae (Chamber of Our Lady) and is recalled in the park southeast of Brussels called "Bois de la Chambre" ("Chamber Woods").
Alice became a laysister at the abbey. However, at an early age, she contracted leprosy and had to be isolated. The disease caused her intense suffering, and eventually she became paralyzed and further afflicted with blindness. Her greatest consolation came from reception of the Holy Eucharist, although she was not allowed to drink from the chalice because of the presumed danger of contamination. However, I is said that the Lord appeared to her with assurance that He was in both the consecrated bread and the wine. She died in 1250, at the age of 46.