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St. Gertrude of Nivelles
Lynn Garlick Retablos

St. Gertrude of Nivelles

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Patron Saint of Cats and Cat Lovers, invoked against Rodents.

St. Gertrude was born in 626 AD in Belgium to Itta and Pepin of Landen. Her family was very pious. Itta founded two monasteries for monks and one for nuns. Gertrude was the abbess. She was known for her generosity to pilgrims and travelers. Upon her mother's death, Gertrude built churches, monasteries and hospices on the family estates. She relinquished her abbess position at age 30 so she could meditate, study and pray more. She died at the auspicious age of 33. She is often depicted with rodents running up her staff, which some say represent the souls in purgatory rising up into heaven. She is invoked against rodents and that is how she became patron of cats and cat lovers.