Saints of the Day – Waldetrudis of Mons, Widow

detail of a stained glass window of Saint Waudru with two of her sisters; date unknown, artist unknown; south aisle, canopy #12, Church of Saint-Lucien d'Avrechy, Oise, France; photographed on 23 November 2014 by Pierre Poschadel; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

(also known as Vaudru, Waltrude, Waudru)

Died April 9, c.686-688. The family of Saint Waudru, patroness of Mons (Belgium), was amazingly holy, too. Both her parents (Walbert and Bertille) and her sister (Aldegund) were canonized. Her four children were also declared saints (Landericus, Dentelin, Aldetrude, and Madelberte) and so was her husband (Madelgaire).

Madelgaire was the count of Hennegau (Hainault), and one of the courtiers of King Dagobert I. After their children were born both he and Waudru longed to live lives totally devoted to meditation and prayer. He retired to an abbey he had founded at Haumont near Maubeuge, where he took the name Vincent. For two additional years, Waudru remained in the world, devoting herself to the care of the poor and the sick under the direction of Saint Gislenus.

After Madelgaire’s death, Waudru received the religious veil from Saint Autbert in 656, built a tiny home for herself near Castriloc (Ch√Ęteaulieu), and, giving away her possessions, lived there alone. Though she clung to her solitude, her great wisdom and piety meant that countless men and women pressed on her for advice. Eventually Waudru had so many followers that she was obliged to found her own convent at Ch√Ęteaulieu. She dedicated this convent to the Mother of Jesus, and around it grew the present town of Mons. By the time of Waudru’s death she had become famous not only for her charity but also for her miraculous powers of healing, her patience in the face of trials, continual fasting, and prayer. Her relics are considered the most precious treasure of the church that bears her name in Mons (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth, Walsh).

In art, Saint Waudru is depicted protecting her children under her mantle, offering her husband a crucifix, and refusing a crown of roses (Roeder). She is venerated in Mons (Roeder).

MLA Citation

  • Katherine I Rabenstein. Saints of the Day, 1998. CatholicSaints.Info. 31 May 2020. Web. 24 January 2022. <>