St. Bertha (2)
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(ABBESS OF BLANGY IN ARTOIS)
Died about 725. She was the daughter of Rigobert, Count of the Palace under Clovis II, and married Siegfried, a relation of the king. After twenty years, when he died, she determined to found a nunnery. Two buildings which she constructed fell down, but an angel in a vision guided her to another spot, and there after many difficulties a nunnery was built, which she entered with her two elder daughters, Deotila and Gertrude. A still later legend represents this Gertrude as much persecuted by the attentions of a great noble, Roger, who wished to marry her by force, but she was saved from his violence by her mother's firm courage and trust in God. Some time before her death Bertha is said to have resigned her office of abbess and to have shut herself up in a little cell built against the church wall. But the whole story of Bertha, as Mabillon and the Bollandists agree, is of very late date and historically worthless. Her feast is kept on the 4th of July. (See Acta SS. for that day, and Décobert, "Ste. Berthe et son Abbaye de Blangy", Lille, 1892).
Dunbar, Dictionary of Saintly Women (London, 1904); Chevalier, Repertoire des sources historiques: Bio-Bibliographie (Paris, 1905).
|Source: The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913|