Feast of St. Burgendofara, St. Sadalberga, and Their Relatives (April 3)   1 comment

Above:  Map of Gaul in 628

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SAINT BURGENDOFARA, A.K.A. FARE (DIED 657)

Roman Catholic Abbess

Her feast = April 3

sister of

SAINT BURDENDOFARO, A.K.A. FARO (DIED 675)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Mieux

His feast transferred from October 28

(maybe) brother of

SAINT CHAINALDUS (DIED 633)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Laon

His feast transferred from September 6

(maybe) brother of

SAINT WALDEBERT (DIED CIRCA 668)

Roman Catholic Abbot at Luxeuil

His feast transferred from May 2

helped

SAINT SADALBERGA (DIED 665)

Roman Catholic Abbess

Her feast transferred from September 22

wife of

SAINT BLANDINUS

Roman Catholic Monk

father of

SAINT BALDWIN OF LEON (DIED 680)

Roman Catholic Martyr

His feast transferred from October 16

brother of

SAINT ANSTRUDIS (DIED 668)

Roman Catholic Abbess

His feast transferred from October 17

niece of

SAINT BODO (DIED 670)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Toul

His feast transferred from September 11

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Once again I started with one name–St. Burgendofara, in this case–and ended with a multitude.  Individually some of these stories offer scant information, but collectively they constitute a saga of lived Christian faith.  These nine lives are connected to each other directly or indirectly.

We begin with Count Agneric, a member of the court of King Theodobert/Theudebert II of Austrasia, who reigned from 595 to 612.  He wanted his daughter, St. Burgendofara/Fare (died 657) to wed.  She pursued a different vocation–a religious life–instead.  And the saint even persuaded her father to build Evoriacum Convent–later Faremoutiers Abbey–on family-owned land.  Her brother, St. Burgendofaro/Faro (died 675), founded that abbey.  He, the Count of Guines, Panthieu, and St. Pol, served as Bishop of Meaux from 626 to 672, founded St. Croix Monastery at Meaux.  He also survived his sister, who spent the last thirty-seven years of her her life as Abbess at Evoriacum.

Sts. Burgendofara and Burgendofaro had another sainted sibling, Waldebert/Gaubert/Valbert/Walbert (died circa 668). Also a Count of Guines, Panthieu, and St. Pol, he left military life to become a contemplative.  He lived as a hermit near Luxeuil Abbey until 628, when he succeeded St. Eustace as the abbot there.  For four decades St. Waldebert served in that capacity.  He oversaw the monastery school, at which many future bishops of sees in the Frankish kingdoms received an education.  He also helped St. Sadalberga (died 665) found the Convent of St. John the Baptist at Laon, where she died.

St. Sadalberga was the daughter of Gundoin, Duke of Alsace.  Her first marriage was brief, for her first husband died a few months after the wedding.  Husband number two was St. Blandinus, with whom she had five children, two of whom became saints.  I found little information–not even his feast day and the year of his death.  Sources did tell me, however, that he and St. Sadalberga, at some point, parted so that he could become a hermit and she a nun, each devoting his/her life to God in a monastic context.

We have little information about their children who became saints.  Baldwin (died 680) served as Archdeacon of Leon, in Iberia, until his martyrdom.  And Anstrudis (died 668) succeeded her mother as abbess.

St. Sadalberga had a brother, St. Bodo (circa 625-670).  He served as Bishop of Toul and founded at least three abbeys:  Bonmoutier, Etival, and Othonville.

Then there was St. Chainaldus (died 633).  He was brother of either St. Burdendoraro or St. Sadalberga.  He could not, however, have been the brother of both, despite what some sources claim.  St. Chainaldus, a nobleman, became a monk at Meaux under the direction St. Columban.  He even followed St. Columban into exile at Bobbio, in Italy.  Later St. Chainaldus became Bishop of Laon, in Francia.

Most of us will, after we die, become (in this realm) as if we had not existed.  Memories of us will fade into oblivion.  If, after a few generations, even sketchy memories of us survive, we will constitute exceptions to the rule.  The nine saints I commemorate in this post were certainly exceptions to the rule.  They pursued holiness as best they knew–and we know their names and a little information about each.  They honored God in their days; may we do the same in ours.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 25, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE CONVERSION OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE

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Almighty God,

by your grace

you surround us with so great a cloud of witnesses;

may we, encouraged by the example of your servants

Saint Burgendofara/Fare,

Saint Burgendofaro/Faro,

Saint Chainaldus,

Saint Waldebert,

Saint Sadalberga,

Saint Blandinus,

Saint Baldwin of Leon,

Saint Anstrudis, and

Saint Bodo,

persevere and run the race you have set before us,

until at last, through your mercy,

we with them attain your eternal joy;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 2:1-11

Psalm 34 or 119:1-8

Philippians 4:4-9

Luke 6:17-23

–Adapted from A New Zealand Prayer Book (1989), pages 686-687

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One response to “Feast of St. Burgendofara, St. Sadalberga, and Their Relatives (April 3)

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  1. Pingback: Feast of St. Fiacre (September 1) « SUNDRY THOUGHTS

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