Cistercian abbot; b. Flanders, 1100; d. between Dunkirk and Nieuport, after July 22, 1167. Idesbald was probably a member of the higher nobility in the area of Furnes in Flanders. Some sources relate that he was married, but after a few years of married life, his wife died. After spending 30 years in public service, which culminated in a post at the court of the count of Flanders, Idesbald entered the Cistercian Abbey of les dunes. A few years later, he was elected the third abbot; he ruled the monastery for 20 years. His vigor in religion was matched by his energy in increasing the possessions of the monastery. At his death, he was interred in a lead sarcophagus, contrary to the custom of the order. His cultus was approved in 1894.
Feast: April 18.
Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum, Apr. 2:584–590. a. m. zimmermann, Kalendarium Benedictinum: Die Heiligen und Seligen des Benediktinerorderns und seiner Zweige 2:69, 72. j. de cuyper, Idesbald van der Gracht (Bruges 1946). j. arnold, Idesbald, le phare du Westhoek (Bruges 1969). s. lenssen, Hagiologium cisterciense 109–111.
[j. r. sommerfeldt]