Alice of Schaerbeek

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St. Alice of Schaerbeek, O.Cist.
Schaerbeek Eglise Sainte-Alice 010.jpg
Virgin and laysister
Born 1204
Schaerbeek, Duchy of Brabant, Holy Roman Empire
Died 11 June 1250[1]
La Cambre Abbey, Ixelles, Duchy of Brabant, Holy Roman Empire
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Canonized Cultus confirmed 1907 by Pope Pius X
Feast June 15
Patronage The Blind, the Paralyzed

Alice of Schaerbeek, O.Cist. (or Adelaide or Aleydis) (Dutch: Sint 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 "Ter Kamerenbos / Bois de la Cambre" ("Chamber Woods").[2]

Alice was a very pretty girl, soon showed a high intelligence and a great love for God. She 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, which she offered for the salvation of sinners and the souls in purgatory.[3]

Eventually she became paralyzed and 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, it is said that the Lord appeared to her with assurance that He was in both the consecrated bread and the wine.[2] She died in 1250, at the age of 46.

By decree of July 1, 1702 Pope Clement XI granted to the monks of the Congregation of St. Bernard Fuliensi the faculty to celebrate the cultus of Alice.[3] Devotion to Alice as a saint was approved in 1907 by Pope Pius X.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Adelaide of Schaerbeck (d. 1250)". Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Gale Research Inc. Retrieved 8 January 2013. (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b McNamara, Robert. "St. Alice", Saints Alive
  3. ^ a b Coming, Godfrey. "Sant 'Aleide Schaerbeek", Santi e Beati, 2011
  4. ^ St. Alice at Catholic Online