Golden Legend – Saint Aldegonde

[Saint Aldegundis]Article

Here followeth the Life of Saint Aldegonde Virgin.

In the time of Dagobert king of France, which reigned about the year six hundred, was born Saint Aldegonde of lineage royal. This holy Aldegonde was nourished in the service of God, and yet I may say that our Lord himself nourished her in his service and endoctrined her as well himself present by noble visions and wonderful, as by his angels, men and women religious and holy, as well by her own holy sister as by others, as it appeareth in her legend. None ought not then to be marvelled if she lived holily that was scholar of such a school. When then this holy Aldegonde was of age competent, her father and mother would have married her to a noble man rich and mighty, but in conclusion she answered that none other she would take to her lord and spouse but our Lord Jesu Christ, to whom of bounty, beauty, noblesse, puissance, riches and wit may none be compared. Saint Wautrud of Mons which, after the decease of her husband Saint Vincent of Longuys, made her profession in the Abbey of nuns at Mons which she had founded, wrote and prayed to her mother that she might have Aldegonde her sister with her for her disport, comfort and company in very love and charity. Aldegonde the holy virgin was sent thither, and was taught and endoctrined by her sister in the manner of holding religion. Ten days after, her mother, yet supposing to have married her, went there where both her daughters were, and to Aldegonde gave a piece of linen cloth, such as princes wear, and commanded to her that therewith she should make shirts, sheets and kerchiefs for her paramours. The good virgin, weeping that her mother had meant her spouse Jesu Christ, took the said cloth and thereof she made chrisms which are put on new-born children’s heads when they be borne to the fonts, there to be baptized, to whom the priest saith: Take thou this white clothing, which thou shalt bear tofore the siege tribunal of our Lord. Wherefore the said holy virgin, to the end that the shirts of her own shaping and making should be borne to her spouse Jesu Christ, she made chrisms with her mother’s cloth, and when she had made them much fair and rich, as for king’s sons, she with a merry countenance gave them to her mother, saying that she had done it in the best wise that she could. When her mother saw the chrisms and her linen cloth thus employed, she was much wroth and evil apaid, and fette a rod for to beat her daughter withal. But the blessed saint fled unto the forest of Maubeuge, that was there nigh, and there she made her penitence with the comfort and help of our Lord.

It is said that he, which by the assent and grant of her mother should have had her to his wife, came in to the said forest for to have ravished her by force, but he could never find ne see her, all went he nigh her. There she abode unto the time that her mother was dead, and after, she went to Mons, where she was sacred unto a nun by the hands of Saint Obier and of Saint Amand, and anon after she builded and founded her abbey of Maubeuge.

There was once brought to this holy virgin a great fish which she put into a fountain for to be kept there. It happed, as such great fishes be accustomed to do, that he leapt so high from the water that he fell on the ground and could not return in to the fountain. On him came a great raven which would have eaten of it, but there came a lamb that kept the fish from harm, and fought against the raven so long that this lady’s nuns of the place, perceived the battle. Some of them came to the fountain and took the fish and brought it with them. The said lamb ever followed them unto the time the fish was before the presence of Saint Aldegonde, and never would depart till the holy virgin said to him: Ye have done right well, go to your herd again.

On a night as Saint Aldegonde, with her sister, together speaking secretly of their spouse our Lord Jesu Christ, their candle fell from the candlestick and was put out. Saint Aldegonde took it, and as God would, it lighted by itself again. Item, on a time they two went together towards the Church of Saint Peter about the hour of sixte, the gates, that as then were shut, suddenly opened before them at the instance of their orisons and prayers. Item, once as she had thirst, was water brought to her which was turned into wine by the grace of him that in Galilee did turn the water into wine. Saint Wautrud saw in a vision, five daya before the death of the holy Aldegonde her sister, the blessed Virgin Mary, both Saint Peter, and Saint Paul, princes of the apostles, accompanied with many saints and a great legion of angels, which led her sister Aldegonde into paradise. She therefore came to the place where her sister lay sick, and was present when she rendered her soul to her spouse, our Lord Jesu Christ, to whom we shall pray that through the merits of the blessed virgin Aldegonde, of which the miracles both in her life and after her death be without number, we may come there as she is, in glory without end. Amen.