Saint Gerlac of Valkenburg

[Saint Gerlac of Valkenburg]Also known as

  • Gerlac von Houthem
  • Gerlac of Maastricht
  • Gerlach….
  • Gerlache….
  • Gerlacus….
  • Gerlachus….
  • Gerlak….



Born the nobility, he served as a soldier in the imperial German army. Led a wild and licentious life, part as a highwayman, until the death of his wife, after which he experienced a conversion. Did penance the rest of his life, first by caring for the sick in Jerusalem for seven years, then giving away his property, living as a hermit in a hollow tree near his own estate. Each week he travelled to Maastricht to venerate the relics of Saint Gervase, to Aachen, Germany to venerate Our Lady. Much slandered because of his early life and his austerities. Late in life he developed a dispute with some local monks who wanted him to join their monastery. Friend of, and correspondent with Saint Hildegard of Bingen. Had a vision of Saint Gervase on 5 January 1170.





  • hermit accompanied by an ass
  • hermit wearing a Norbertine habit
  • hermit with a thorn in his foot
  • man living in a hollow tree
  • man surrounded by farmers and cattle
  • man riding a donkey away from a tournament, showing how he turned his back on the chivalrous life

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Gerlac of Valkenburg“. 5 January 2014. Web. 22 December 2014. <>