Catholic Encyclopedia – Saint Bertha, Virgin and Martyr


Abbess of Val d’Or, near Avenay, Reims, died c.690. She was wife of Saint Gumbert, Lord of Champenois, a nobleman of royal blood. He built a nunnery for his wife and her maidens at Avenay, and retired himself to a monastery on the coast, where he was soon afterwards put to death by pagan marauders. When the people of Avenay suffered form lack of water, Saint Peter appeared to Bertha and showed her a field where there was a good spring. This she bought for a pound of silver. It became a holy well which cured diseases and supplied both her own nuns and the hamlet of Avenay with water. Bertha was martyred by Gumbert’s relatives, who were indignant at the distribution of his money to the poor. Whether the abbey founded at Avenay followed the Benedictine or the Columban Rule, does not seem certain even to Mabillon. The whole legend in fact is very late and unreliable. Saint Bertha’s feast is on the 1st of May.

MLA Citation

  • Herbert Thurston. “Saint Bertha, Virgin and Martyr”. Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913. CatholicSaints.Info. 30 June 2013. Web. 21 September 2021. <>