Gertrude de Nivelles (circa 621-659)
Art by Ohthirdplanet (tumblr)
After the death of Gertrude’s father Pepin of Laden in 640, Gertrude’s mother Itta founded a Benedictine monastery in Nivelles, a town in present day Belgium. According to some sources, Gertrude wanted to take religious orders from a young age. Other accounts suggest Itta built the convent to protect her youngest daughter from the political instability of the region at the time. Abbesses held great power in medieval Europe and their lands were generally safe from seizure.
Itta and Gertrude monastery’s housed nuns and monks in neighboring buildings. It was part of the growth of monastic life in seventh and eighth century Europe. Itta ran the monastery until her death in 650, after which point Gertrude took control. As abbesses, Gertrude built an extensive library and her monastery became known as a center for knowledge.
Gertrude died in 659 and although she was never formally canonized, Pope Clement XII declared March 17 her universal feast day. Gertrude is the patron saint for traveler and cats and the patron saint against rats and mice.
"Abbesses held great power in medieval Europe and their lands were generally safe from seizure" SO COOL.
"Don’t you lift him—let him drown alive,
The good Lord speaks like a rolling thunder.
Let that fever make the water rise,
And let that river run dry.”
My favorite kind of music is the kind that makes me feel like I’m walking away from a burning building in slow motion.