Tag Archives: Eleventh century

Patron Saint of Cats and Gardeners: St. Gertrude, O.S.B. (626-659 CE). The Collegial Church of St. Gertrude, c. 1050, in Nivelles, Belgium. (2 Photos).

The Collegial Church of St. Gertrude, c. 1050, Nivelles, Belgium.

Photographs are taken by the author on March 1, 1992.

St. Gertrude of Nivelles, patron saint of cats!

The westwork’s appearance is the result of a reconstruction finished in 1984 following the severe damage it received during World War II from bombing by the German Luftwaffe in May 1940. The church was built in the 11th century to serve a Benedictine abbey of cloistered nuns whose first abbess was St. Gertrude of Nivelles. This dramatic church is classified a major European Heritage site and remains one of the finest examples of the Romanesque style in Belgium. Its Romanesque crypt is one of the largest of its kind in Europe where Merovingian and Carolingian tombs have been found.

Interior, Minster (Collegiate Church of St. Gertrude), c. 1050, Nivelles, Belgium.


Another image of St. Gertrude. Her feast day is March 17—the same as Ireland’s St. Patrick.

In addition to being patronness of cats, St. Gertrude is equally the patron saint of all gardeners.

St. Gertrude de Nivelles, from the Hours of Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg (1490-1545), Archbishop and Elector of Mainz, c. 1522. Opaque water-based paint mounted on board by Flemish artist Simon Bening (c.1484-1561). Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.