Radegunde of Thuringia

Radegunde of Thuringia

Birth
Death 13 Aug 587
Poitiers, Departement de la Vienne, Poitou-Charentes, France
Burial Poitiers, Departement de la Vienne, Poitou-Charentes, France
Memorial ID 93577928 · View Source
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Royalty. Frankish Queen and Patron Saint of Poitiers, weavers and potters. She was raised at the court of her uncle, the thuringian king Irminfried. In 531 Clotaire defeated the thuringians and sent Radegunde to his kingdom. She received a proper education there, learned latin and read the christian texts. Around 540 Clotaire forced her to marry him. She fled but was soon captured again. The wedding took place in Vitry but the marriage remained childless, they adopted a girl called Agnes. At the court in Soissons she lived a very austere life. After a rebellion of the thuringians in 550, Clotaire had her uncle and brother assassinated. Radegunde was hurt so deeply that she separated from him but never divorced. She fled to Noyon, where she was ordained deacon by Bishop Medard. She left her royal robe to the church of Noyon and gave her other possessions to the poor. Then she continued her flight to Saix and then to Poitiers. Bishop Germanus of Paris asked the king to give up the pursuit. Clotaire had the bishop return to her, to ask her for forgiveness and promising that he would support her plan for a monastic foundation. He tried several times to convince her to return to him. In 558 they founded the monastery of Sainte-Marie-hors-les-Murs, the first convent for women in Europe. Clotaire put it permanently under his protection and their daughter Agnes became the first abbess. According to tradition she often choose to do the lowest services. Two days of the week she assembled the poor and sick in the bathhouse of the monastery and washed the lepers herself. After Clotairs death the kingdom was divided between his sons who ensured her the further existence of the monastery. In 565 the writer, poet and priest Venantius Fortunatus traveled to Gaul and came to Poitiers. They became friends and in the following twenty years he helped find support for the monastery by writing kings and dignitaries. Emperor Justin II sent a splinter of the Holy Cross to Radegunde who then renamed the monastery Sainte Croix. She died on August 13th, 587 and was buried in the monastery church that later received her name. She was soon venerated as a saint and was canonized in the ninth century. In 1562 Huguenots desecrated her grave and burned some of her remains. Part of the relics were saved and re-interred into the sarcophagus.

Bio by: Lutetia


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Lutetia
  • Added: 14 Jul 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 93577928
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Radegunde of Thuringia (unknown–13 Aug 587), Find A Grave Memorial no. 93577928, citing Church of Sainte-Radegonde, Poitiers, Departement de la Vienne, Poitou-Charentes, France ; Maintained by Find A Grave .