Gertrud von Nivelles

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gertrud von Nivelles, painting around 1530
Statue in the west nave

Gertrud von Nivelles (* 626 - March 17, 659 ), also Gertraud , Gertraudt , Gertrude and Geretrudis , was abbess of the Augustinian convent Nivelles in Belgium and is venerated as a virgin and saint in the Roman Catholic Church .


Gertrud was the daughter of Pippin the Elder and his wife Iduberga and thus a relative of Charlemagne . At the age of 14 she entered the abbey in Nivelles founded by her mother . In the middle of the 7th century Gertrud von Nivelles founded the Benedictine Abbey in Karlburg in Lower Franconia. The abbey was one of the first monasteries in the Main Franconian region that particularly cared for the poor, the sick and the infirm. After the death of her mother, Gertrud headed the abbey of Nivelles as abbess from 652 until her death.

Gertrud was very educated and advocated that girls should also read the Holy Scriptures . She brought up the later Belgian national saint Gudula of Brussels in the monastery of Nivelles . In addition to caring for the sick, she also gave food to traveling schoolchildren and traveling companions. She had a hospital built for Irish wandering monks whom she had called to her monastery. So Gertrud soon became known as the “patroness of the country road”. The legend tells that ship travelers who were threatened by a sea monster in the middle of the sea, St. Had begged Gertrude for help in prayer. Then the monster disappeared.


The day of remembrance in the Roman Catholic Church is March 17th (a day of remembrance not required in the regional calendar for the German-speaking area ).

The reliquary of St. Gertrud in Nivelles was destroyed in the German bombing of the city in 1940 during the Second World War. Using some medieval fragments, a new reliquary was created in the 1990s.

In the Middle Ages, many hospitals were under the patronage of St. Gertrude. The Gertrudenminne , also named after her, was drank in the Middle Ages for parting or for reconciliation.

Saint Gertrude is invoked against plagues of mice and rats, she is the patron saint of cats, travelers and pilgrims , gardeners, the poor and widows and the former town of Wattenscheid (today a district of Bochum). The Wattenscheider celebrate the Gertrudiskirmes in spring until today , at the opening of which the provost of the Gertrudiskirche is also present. Regarding the iconographic attribute of the cat, Carlo Melchers suspected a connection with the Germanic goddess Frigg in the 20th century .

In the Main area she is venerated as Gertrud von Karlburg , because she was often on the way between Karlburg and Neustadt am Main (more precisely: the Carolingian castle on the Michaelsberg) ("Gertraudenpfad"). Relics of her have been kept in the Gertraudenkapelle near Waldzell since May 2008.

In the Berlin area, a hospital founded in the 15th century was named Zur heiligen Gertraud , as was a neighboring church. When the center of Berlin was enlarged and rebuilt in later years, the city fathers Gertraud erected a memorial that was placed on the Gertrauden Bridge of the same name, inaugurated in 1896 .


Statue of St. Gertrud at the high altar of the Catholic parish church Grafenbach with a mouse on the distaff
St. Gertrud on a winged altar in the parish church of St. Pantaleon in Cologne to the right of St. Katharina with the abbot's staff, book and mice on her robe

Gertrude is usually depicted in the habit of the Benedictine nuns with the abbess's crook and with mice, sometimes with a book, a spinning wheel, a sailing ship or with two rings on her right arm.

Farmer rules

  • "Gertraud leads the cow to the herb, the horse to the plow, the bees to the flight"
  • "If you want to eat broad beans and carrots, you mustn't forget St. Gertraud"
  • "If St. Gertraud is sunny, the gardener will be happy"
  • "Gertraud, sow the herb"
  • "Gertraud is the first gardener"
  • "Gertraud builds the garden"
  • "Anyone who doesn't go to Gertraud's garden, stands in front of empty beds in summer"
  • "St. Gertrud opens the garden gate "
  • "Sente Gertrütt, die Plugg herütt" ("Sankt Gertrud, out with the plow")
  • "Zent Jertrud jieeht möt Schöpp on Herk erut" ("Sankt Gertrud goes out with shovel and rake")

See also


Web links

Commons : Gertrud von Nivelles  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Saint Gertrud von Nivelles - Abbess of Nivelles, legendary founder of the Marienkloster in Karlburg. Diocese of Würzburg. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  2. Christine Jeske: When Karlburg was still a royal court. In: September 7, 2008 (registration required).
  3. Saint Gertraudt. In: The Stralauer Fischzug. Legends, stories and customs from old Berlin. Verlag Neues Leben, Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-355-00326-3 , p. 119 f.
  4. John Philip O'Neill: Metropolitan Cats. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Abrams, New York 1981, ISBN 0-87099-276-7 , p. 47.
  5. Carlo, Erna and Hans Melchers: The great book of saints. 7th edition. Südwest, Munich 1984, ISBN 3-517-00617-3 , pp. 169-171.
  6. ^ Gertrud von Nivelles in Franconia / Neustadt am Main. An abstract from the report by Bernhard Schemmel, Sankt Gertrud in Franken, WDGB Volume 30, 1968, pages 7–153. Expanded with additional information from Klaus Weyer. In: January 5, 2006.
  7. Susanne Waschinger: Jubilee Gertraudenfest: Relics placed in the altar. In: May 13, 2008.
  8. ^ Stefan Gilsbach: Bishop blesses Gertrud Chapel. In: March 16, 2009, accessed August 21, 2019.
  9. Heinz Webers: Morje es vandag al jister! Seidenweber Bücherei, Krefeld 2015.