Gudula of Brussels

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Saint Gudula, 1494

Gudula from Brussels (also from Moorsel and from Eibingen ); Latin Gudila (later also Gudula ), Dutch Goedele , also Goele , French Gudule ; * probably in Moorsel near Aalst ; † January 8 between 680 and 714 in Hamme bei Merchtem is one of the national saints of Belgium and patroness of the city of Brussels .

Gudula was a recluse and is a saint of the Catholic Church . Her relic is kept in the parish church of St. Hildegard and St. Johannes d. T. kept in Eibingen (Germany, Hesse, Rheingau).


According to the Vita Gudilae (probably written by Onulf von Hautmont , between 1048 and 1051) Gudula came from a noble family in Lorraine . Her mother was St. Amalberga von Maubeuge , her father Witger, Duke of Lorraine and Count of Brabant. Her brother was St. Emebertus (Ablebertus) of Carmbrai, Bishop of Cambrai-Arras († beginning of the 8th century) and her sister was St. Reinildis of Saintes .

Brussels, Saint Michael and Gudula Cathedral

She was brought up by her godmother, St. Gertrude von Nivelles , in the Nivelles monastery and led a life of strict penance. Her self-built cell in Hamme near Merchtem was the place of her Christian reflection all her life. After her death around 712, she was first buried in front of the church door in Hamme, while her relics were later brought to Moorsel.

Between 977 and 988, the Duke of Lower Lorraine , Charles of France , had her remains brought to the Sankt Gaugerich Church in Brussels. Lambert II, known as Balderich, Count von Löwen , had the remains transferred to St. Michael's Church in 1047 (later the main church of the city of Brussels), where he was also a collegiate chapter of St. Gudula founded.

Already at the end of the 12th century Hildegard von Bingen received the important main relic of St. Gudula from her friends from Brabant. The head of the saint is today as part of the Eibinger reliquary in the former Hildegardiskloster or the current parish church of St. Hildegard and St. Johannes the Elder. T. in Rüdesheim- Eibingen in the Rheingau (Germany).

Later, a Gothic cathedral was built on the site of St. Michael's Church in Brussels, which is still consecrated to both saints as St. Michael and Gudula Cathedral . On June 6, 1579, Calvinists destroyed the shrine that contained Gudula's relics.


The “lantern miracle” is told about Gudula. On the way to the church the devil blew out the lantern. She should get lost. But an angel kept lighting the lantern.

Scientific investigations

A scientific investigation into the authenticity of the Gudula relics was carried out at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz : Dentist Peter Riethe fitted centuries-old Belgian teeth from the remains of the Calvinist destruction into the head of St. Gudula from the Eibingen reliquary . The result was clear: the Belgian teeth matched the head from the Eibing reliquary. This proved that the head from the Eibingen reliquary, which had been separated since the 12th century, and the remains from Belgian property matched.

Customs and worship

The feast day of St. Gudula in Brussels is January 8th . In the diocese of Ghent , where Moorsel is located, her feast day is celebrated on January 19th .

Since Gudula does not have an official memorial day in the Diocese of Limburg , special attention is paid to the main relic of the saints on September 17th , the memorial day of St. Hildegard von Bingen , in Eibingen .


Individual evidence

  1. Peter Riethe: The skull of St. Gudula from the parish church of Eibingen. A historical-anthropological study. In: Nassauische Annalen Jahrbuch of the association for Nassau antiquity and historical research. , Vol. 67 (1956), p. 233

Web links

Commons : Saint Gudula  - collection of images, videos and audio files