St Radegund, Memorial: 13th August
“One of the saints remembered by the Church [on] 13th August is St Radegund. She was born in 518 in France amid the turmoil and violence of that time.
St Radegund was kidnapped at the age of twelve and was forced to marry the wild and abusive King Clothaire. As Queen she lived a life of prayer and Christian service while trying to support her husband. He mocked St Radegund for her spiritual life of prayer and often mistreated her.
St Radegund asked to be released from the King’s court and grudgingly he allowed her to withdraw to Poitiers, where she joined a convent. Eventually, St Radegund founded the monastery of the Holy Cross, the first in Europe for both men and women, and her friend Agnes became its abbess.
St Radegund valued learning and her followers were required to study for two hours every day. Her biographer wrote, ‘Whenever a servant of God visited, she would question him closely about his manner of serving the Lord. If she learned something new from him which she was not used to doing, she would immediately impose it first upon herself and then she would teach others with words what she had already shown them by her example.’
St Radegund also became well known for being a peacemaker. When word of war reached her, she would write to the combatants urging them to settle their differences peacably. Sadly, the din of battle would often drown out her gentle voice for peace. When her husband, the King, tried to take St Radegund back by force, the local Bishop interceded and the King repented of all that he had done wrong. In the end the King became a benefactor of the Holy Cross monastery. St Radegund died in the year 587, surrounded by two hundred nuns.
Her biographer wrote of a time when ‘a friend told Radegund that if she kept kissing lepers, no one would dare kiss her. ‘If you don’t want to kiss me,’ she snapped back, ‘I won’t mind at all.'”
– From: Spiritual Thought from Fr Chris/2015