The Strangulation of Godelina. Image in Procession Chapel in Gistel, Belgium.
|Died||6 July 1070|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Canonized||1084 by Pope Urban II|
|Feast||6 July; 30 July|
|Attributes||crown; well |
invoked against throat trouble
Tradition, as recorded in her Vita, states that she was pious as a young girl, and became much sought after by suitors as a beautiful young woman. Godelieve, however, wanted to become a nun. A nobleman named Bertolf (Berthold) of Gistel, however, determined to marry her, successfully invoked the help of her father's overlord, Eustace II, Count of Boulogne. Berthold's servants were ordered to provide only bread and water to the young bride. Godelieve shared this food with the poor.
Godelieve managed to escape to the home of her father, Hemfrid, seigneur of Wierre-Effroy. Hemfrid, appealing to the Bishops of Tournai and Soissons and the Count of Flanders, managed to have Bertolf restore Godelieve to her rightful position as his wife.
According to legend, Bertolf married again, and had a daughter Edith, who was born blind: the legend states that Edith was cured through the intercession of Saint Godelieve. Bertolf, now repentant of his crimes, went to Rome to obtain absolution. He went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and became a monk at St. Winnoc's Abbey at Bergues. Edith founded a Benedictine monastery at Gistel, which was dedicated to Saint Godelieve, which she joined herself as a nun.
Godelieve's body was exhumed in 1084 by the Bishops of Tournai and Noyon, in the presence of Gertrude of Saxony, the wife of Robert I, Count of Flanders, the Abbot of St. Winnoc's and a number of clergymen. It was Radbod II, bishop of Noyon-Tournai, that consecrated Godelieve's relics in 1084, and Godelieve's popular cult developed thereafter.
Drogo, a monk of St. Winnoc's Abbey, wrote Godelieve's biography, the Vita Godeliph, about ten years after her death. The abbey of Ten Putte Abbey in Bruges was dedicated to her, and the name of the first Abbess was Agatha.
Every year, on the Sunday following 5 July, a procession celebrating Saint Godelieve takes place in Gistel.
The Godelieve PolyptychEdit
- Stracke, Richard (20 October 2015). "Saint Godelieve: The Iconography". Christian Iconography.
- de Vries 2007, p. 44.
- Kienzle & Nienhuis 2001, p. 45.
- Harper-Bill 1999, p. 157.
- Kienzle & Nienhuis 2001, p. 50.
- Mulder-Bakker 2002, p. 69.
- Kienzle & Nienhuis 2001, p. 46.
- Kienzle & Nienhuis 2001, p. 45-46.
- Head 2001, p. 359.
- "Liturgical Year : Activities : Weather Saints". www.catholicculture.org.
- de Vries, Andre (2007). Flanders: A Cultural History. Oxford University Press.
- Harper-Bill, Christopher (1999). Anglo-Norman Studies XXI: Proceedings of the Battle Conference 1998. The Boydell Press.
- Head, Thomas F., ed. (2001). Medieval Hagiography: An Anthology. Routledge.
- Kienzle, Beverly Mayne; Nienhuis, Nancy (2001). "Battered Women and the Construction of Sanctity". Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion. Vol. 17, No. 1 Spring.
- Mulder-Bakker, Anneke B., ed. (2002). The Invention of Saintliness. Routledge.