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Saint Bertha of Artois

Saint Bertha was born in the mid 7th century and was the the daughter of Count Rigobert, the Mayor of the Palace under King Clovis II and her mother Ursana was the daughter of the King of Kent. At 20, Saint Bertha married Sigfrid, a relative of the King and spent the next twenty years with him in happiness. Together they had five daughters.

When Sigfrid died in 672, Saint Bertha became determined to become a Religious sister and founded a convent at Blangy, Artois (now Blangy-sur-ternoise) in 682. Her two oldest daughters, Deotila and Gertrude joined her at the convent. According to tradition, when two of the buildings she built fell an Angel guided her in a vision to another spot where the nunnery was completed. Another legend, written much later, tells that a nobleman Roger tried to have her married by force after Sigfrid's death but through faith in God and courage she was saved from his violence.

As Saint Bertha got older in age her daughter Deotila succeeded her as Abbess and she retired to the life of a recluse in prayer. He died of natural causes on July 4th, 725 AD. Today her feast day is celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church on July 4th each year.

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