Gondulph of Maastricht

Saint Gondulph

Saint Gondulph looking up from his grave. The Latin inscription reads: "Hec nostris manibus dat vobis premia Christus (Through our hands Christ gives you this crown)"
(reliquary, Cinquantenaire Museum, Brussels)
Born 524
Died after 614 AD
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Feast 17 June [1]
Attributes Often depicted with Monulph, both holding miniature churches

Gondulph (Latin: Gondulfus, Gundulphus, perhaps also Bethulphus) of Maastricht, sometimes of Tongeren (6th/7th century AD) was a Bishop of Tongeren-Maastricht venerated as a Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox saint. Together with Saint Servatius and Saint Monulph, Saint Gondulph is one of the patron saints of the city of Maastricht.


Gondulph's parents were Munderic of Vitre en Perthois (500-532 a.d.) and Arthemia of Perthois (born ca. 525 a.d.). He was married to Palatina de Troyes. The couple had a son named Baudgise D'Aquitaine II, who became Duke of Aquitaine, France. Gondulph was buried in the nave of the church of Saint Servatius in Maastricht, which was built by his predecessor Monulph.

He remains a somewhat enigmatic figure. It has been questioned whether he could be identical with Monulph, but the two saints are usually distinguished.

Line of succession

According to some 11th century sources Gondulph's predecessor Monulph transferred the episcopal see from Tongeren to Maastricht. However, the official title episcopus Tungrorum (bishop of Tongeren) was retained until the 10th century, although the episcopal see had by that time been transferred from Maastricht to Liège.

Monulph must have occupied the See of Tongeren-Maastricht until the end of the 6th, beginning of the 7th century, because a bishop of Maastricht named Betulphus was present at the Council of Paris in 614. Gondulph then could have been inserted between Monulph and Betulphus, at least if Betulphus is not identified with Gondulph. The case is similar to the situation in the Archbishopric of Mainz, where Bertulfus and Crotoldus seem to be identical. Furthermore, the disputed episcopal lists of the 11th and 12th centuries ignore the historically-attested Betulphus and make Gondulph the immediate successor of Monulph. The biographies of Gondulph from the Middle Ages are largely extracts from the Vita Servatii written by the French priest Jocundus and not entirely reliable.

Ecclesiastical tradition

According to tradition Gondulph occupied the episcopal see of Maastricht for seven years. This last date does not allow for his presence at the Paris council in 614.

Legend has obscured the historical facts about Gondulph. If Jocundus is to be believed, Gondulph endeavoured to rebuild the town of Tongeren, which had been destroyed during the barbarian invasions. Heavenly intervention caused furious wolves to attack the pagan colonists of the region and devoured them before the eyes of the horrified bishop.

The bodies of Monulph and Gondulph were solemnly exhumed in 1039 by Bishop Nithard of Liège and Gerard of Florennes, Bishop of Cambrai, in the presence of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor. An epitaph commemorating this event was later misinterpreted, giving rise to a legend according to which the two saints arose from their tomb in 1039 in order to assist at the dedication of Aachen cathedral.

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