St. Gertrude of Nivelles
St. Gertrude (c. 626/31-659) was the daughter of Blessed Pepin of Landen
(also called Pepin the Elder) and Blessed Itta (or Ida). Gertrude is said
to have rejected the proposal of Dagobert I; her sister, St. Begga,
married the older son of Arnulf of Metz. After the death of Pepin in 640,
Itta and Gertrude founded or joined a double monastery at Nivelles. Some
say Gertrude succeeded her mother as abbess; others say that Gertrude
became the abbess and Itta remained a nun. Known for her hospitality,
Gertrude gave land at Fosses to Foillan, who established a community there
and evangelized the Brabanters. She resigned about three years before her
death to pursue a life of prayer. Her veneration was especially strong in
the Low Countries, from which it spread through Europe.
Karen Rae Keck
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