Saint Wandregisel

St.Wandregisel, Church of St. Vincent-de-Paul, Clichy
Born c. 600 AD
near Verdun
Died 668 AD
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Feast July 22

Saint Wandregisel (French: Wandrille) (c. 605–668 AD) was a Frankish courtier, monk, and abbot.[1]


The son of Walchisus, a kinsman of Pepin of Landen,[2] he was born around 605, near Verdun in the region then known as Austrasia. He was educated at the Frankish court in Metz.

Wandregisel was part of a group of young courtiers Audoin and Didier of Cahors who served Dagobert I, but in 629 he retired from court to become a monk at Montfaucon under the guidance of Saint Balderic. He soon withdrew to live as a hermit in complete solitude at Saint-Ursanne in the Jura.[2] Wandregisel adhered to the principles of Columbanus and his disciple Saint Ursicinus, both of whom had founded several monasteries in the region. In 635 Wandregisel spent some time at the monastery of Saint Columban at Bobbio in northern Italy.[1] From there, he wished to travel to Ireland,[3] but by 642 got only as far as the abbey of Romainmôtier,[4] which lay on the banks of the Isère River, in the Tarentaise Valley.

Wandregisel was ordained, and then founded Fontenelle Abbey in Normandy,[1] on land obtained from Erchinoald through the influence of his friend Archbishop Audoin of Rouen. Fontenelle followed the rule of Saint Columbanus, and the abbey became an important center of learning. Near the abbey’s ruins lies the village of Saint-Wandrille-Rançon.

Wandregisel died in July 22, 668.[5]


During the Viking invasions, Wandregisel's relics were dispersed to various locations and shared between various churches, including the abbey of Saint-Pierre-au-Mont-Blandin in Ghent (now in Belgium). Wandregisel's cult was celebrated in England prior to the Norman Conquest of 1066.[1]

In the 19th century one of his relics remained: his skull was found in Liège. It was brought back to the Abbey, when the new church was dedicated in 1967. It can be seen today in a modern reliquary.


  1. 1 2 3 4 Arduino, Fabio (June 18, 2006). "San Vandregisilo" (in Italian). Santi e Beati. Retrieved February 7, 2009.
  2. 1 2 Baring-Gould, Sabine (1882). The Lives of the Saints. 2. London: John Hodges. pp. 515–517.
  3. Schäfer, Joachim. "Wandregisil (Wandrille, Wando)". Ökumenisches Heiligenlexikon (in German). Retrieved January 27, 2010.
  4. Fox, Yaniv. Power and Religion in Merovingian Gaul, Cambridge University Press, 2014 ISBN 9781316061749
  5. Mann, Ansgar Wilder. "Wandregisel", Historical Dictionary of Switzerland, Bern

Primary sources

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