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St. Vincent

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(MALDEGARIUS).

Founder and abbot of the monasteries of Hautmont and Soignies, b. of a noble family at Strepy les Binche, Hainault, early in the seventh century; d. at Soignies, 14 July, 677. That he was not of Irish descent, as stated by Jean du Pont and some Irish writers, has been proved by Mabillon and the Bollandists. About 635 he married the noble Waldetrude, also venerated as a saint, and by her had two sons and two daughters, all of whom are honoured as saints. Their names were: Landric, Bishop of Meaux; Dentelin, who died as a boy of seven years; Aldetrude and Madelberte, both of whom became abbesses of Maubeuge. It is probable that Vincent visited Ireland on a mission of King Dagobert I, who esteemed him very highly, though there is no historical basis for the statement made in his anonymous life, written about the eleventh century, that King Dagobert made him ruler over Ireland. He is said to have brought with him from Ireland a number of missionaries, chief among whom were Sts. Fursy, Foillan, Ultan, Eloquius, Adalgisus, and Etto. About 642 he founded the monastery of Hautmont, near Maubeuge, where he himself became a monk about 643, being invested with the religious garb by Bishop St. Aubert of Cambrai, while his wife took the veil and lived in a cell which later became the monastery of Mons. His holy life and his fame as a spiritual guide attracted to the monastery many of his former friends, who put themselves under his spiritual direction . In the hope of finding great seclusion he erected a new monastery at Soignies whither he withdrew with a few of his monks about 670.

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