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Gudula, St.


Virgin, patroness of Brussels; b. Brabant, mid-seventh century; d. c. 712. The mother of Gudula (or Goule), St. amalberga, was a niece of Pepin, mayor of the palace. After receiving an education at the abbey of Nivelles under her cousin st. gertrude, Gudula returned to her home at Ham, near Alast, to lead a life of constant fasting, vigils, and prayers. In gratitude for her abundant alms, a large number of poor and afflicted accompanied her body to burial. Charles, duke of Lower Lorraine, translated her relics to Brussels (97788). In 1047, her relics were placed in the parish church of St. Michael (now St. Gudule) but they were scattered (1579) by the Calvinists. In art, Gudula is represented holding a lantern. According to legend, a wax taper was miraculously relighted after a jealous demon had extinguished it while she was praying.

Feast: Jan. 8.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum, Jan. 1:513530. Bibliotheca hagiographica latina antiquae et mediae aetatis (Brussels 18981901) 1:368486. j. l. baudot and l. chaussin, Vies des saints et des bienheureux selon l'ordre du calendier avec l'historique des fêtes (Paris 193556) 1:165166. É. de moreau, Histoire de l'Église en Belgique (2d ed. Brussels 1945) 1:197200. n. huyghebaert, Catholicisme. Hier, aujourd'hui et demain, ed. g. jacquemet, 5:321.

[j. e. lynch]

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