Wandru (c. 628–688)

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Wandru (c. 628–688)

Belgian saint . Name variations: Waldetrude; Waldetrudis; Waldetrud; Waudru. Born around 628 in Cousolre, Belgium; died on April 9, 688, in Mons, Belgium; daughter of (Saint) Walbert, count of Hainault, and (Saint) Bertilia; sister of Aldegund (c. 680–684); married Madelgaire (the future St. Vincent Madelgar); children: (all saints) Landry or Landric; Dentlin or Dentilinus; Madelberte; Aldetrude.

A Benedictine abbess, Wandru is the patron saint of the city of Mons, Belgium. She was born around 628 into the ruling family of Hainault to exceptionally devout parents, Count Walbert and his wife Bertilia , both of whom were later canonized. Wandru had one sister, Aldegund , also made a saint, who founded the abbey of Maubeuge and served as its abbess. Perhaps surprisingly, given her upbringing, Wandru did not choose a cloistered life but married instead. Her husband was a minor noble called Madelgar; the two were well suited to one another and raised four children, all of whom chose religious lives and were canonized. In their later years, however, Madelgar and Wandru wanted to devote their lives to prayer and service. Wandru encouraged her husband to found a monastery at Haumont and supported his retirement into the abbey. Two years later, Wandru herself decided to withdraw from the world. She considered joining her sister Aldegund at the convent of Maubeuge, but felt that life there would not give her the solitude she sought. However, both of her daughters Aldetrude and Madelberte each eventually served as abbess of their aunt's abbey of Maubeuge.

Wandru chose instead to retire to a small religious establishment which became known as Châteaulieu, or Castrilocus, in Monte. There she spent her time in prayer, becoming famous for her miracles of healing. Her piety attracted settlers to Châteaulieu, which led to the founding of a Benedictine monastery where Wandru served as abbess until her death in 688. Eventually the town of Mons grew up around Wandru's small abbey. Saint Wandru's relics are still kept in Mons, where they are carried through the town once a year in honor of the town's patron saint.


The New Catholic Encyclopedia. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America, 1967.

Thurston, Herbert, and Donald Attwater, eds. Butler's Lives of the Saints. Vol. II. London: Burns & Oates, 1956.

Laura York , M.A. in History, University of California, Riverside, California