Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Opportuna, Virgin and Abbess

Article

She was virgin and Abbess of Montreuil, three miles from Seez, an episcopal see in Normandy, of which her brother, Saint Chrodegang, was bishop. This holy prelate, returning from a pilgrimage of devotion which he had made to Rome and other holy places, went to pay a visit to his cousin, Saint Lantildis, abbess of Almanesches, in his diocess; but was murdered in the way, at Normant, on the 3rd of September, 769, by the contrivance of Chrodobert, a powerful relation, to whom he had intrusted the administration of his temporalities during his absence. He is honoured in the Breviary of Seez on the day of his death: his head is enshrined in the abbey of Saint Martin in the Fields, at Paris, and his body in the priory of Isle-Adam upon the Oise, near Pontoise. Saint Opportuna did not long survive him, dying in 770, on the 22nd of April, having lived an accomplished model of humility, obedience, mortification, and prayer. Her relics were carried from Seez during the incursions of the Normans, in the reign of Charles the Bald, to the priory of Moussy, between Paris and Senlis, in 1009: and some time after to Senlis. In the reign of Charles V in 1374, her right arm was translated to Paris with great devotion and pomp, and deposited in the church which was built in her honour, in the reign of Charles the Bald, to receive a former portion of her relics then brought from Moussy. It was then a small church, built at the entrance of a wood, near an hermitage, called before, Notre Dames des Bois Paris. The town being since extended much beyond this church, it was made parochial and a collegiate of canons. A great part of the head of Saint Opportuna remains at Moussy; her left arm, with part of her skull, at Almenesches: one jaw in the priory of Saint Chrodegang, at l’Isle-Adam, and a rib, with her right arm, in her church at Paris. In processions, when the shrine of Saint Genevieve is taken down, and carried, the ancient portion of the relics of Saint Opportuna, kept in a large shrine, is also carried next the shrine of Saint Honoratus. She is commemorated in the Paris Breviary, and is the titular saint of a parish in that city.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Opportuna, Virgin and Abbess”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 22 April 2013. Web. 13 November 2018. <>