Sunday, September 11, 2011

It runs in the family

St. Adeltrudis or Waltrudis or Waltrud, depending upon the country, is a remarkable woman in many ways. She is a model of women in every state of life - and one we might emulate to the great good of those around us.

She is, in keeping with our recent theme, a Benedictine.

Born into the nobility in what is now Belgium, she married Madelgaire, the Count of Hernaut. This good marriage produced four children. Like so many of us, her life appears unremarkable - there are no anecdotes related of her life, no extensive biographies detailing her inner struggles and triumphs. Nothing.

Except the legacy of a family.

St. Adelgundis carries the distinction of being the daughter of a saint, St. Bertille, and the sister of St. Aldegondes. She herself (as I have already revealed) is a saint. Her husband, a devout and responsible man, became a monk after their children were raised. The Church honors him as a saint. Adeltrudis founded a Benedictine monastery not long after he left the world and entered there as a nun. All four of their children became saints.

Wives and mothers have a powerful influence in the lives of their husbands and children. When we say "heart of the home," it expresses something intangible yet real. The woman gives life on so many levels that it defies categorization.

But mothering saints; leading the man in your life to holiness - and then, having fulfilled the responsibility given, turn your heart entirely over to God in the cloister. Truly a model for every feminine vocation.

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