samedi 25 février 2017

Sainte WALBURGE (WALBURGA), vierge et abbesse bénédictine


Statue et reliquaire de sainte Walburge à l'église Saint-Pierre de Munich

Sainte Walburge

Abbesse, fille de saint Richard, roi des Saxons ( 779)

Vierge. 

Fille du roi Richard d'Angleterre, elle fut élevée dans un austère monastère du Dorset en Angleterre. Envoyée en Germanie, à la demande de saint Boniface. Elle devint abbesse du monastère d'Heidenheim, où elle donna l'exemple de la sainteté par son silence et une vie mortifiée. Elle gouverna aussi le monastère masculin voisin à la mort de saint Winibald.

Au monastère de Heidenheim en Franconie, l’an 779, sainte Walburge, abbesse. À la demande de saint Boniface et de ses frères les saints Willibald et Winebald, elle vint d’Angleterre en Germanie, où elle dirigea d’une manière excellente un double monastère de moines et de moniales.

Martyrologe romain



Reliquaire de Sainte Walpurgis dans le cloître de Meschede,Westphalie

Sainte Walburge

Vierge et abbesse d’Heidenheim

Fête le 25 février

OSB

Devonshire, Wessex, v. 710 – † Heidenheim, Bade-Wurtemberg, 25 février 779

Autres graphies : [lat. Walburga] Bugga, Gauburge, Vaubourg, Walpurga, Walburgis, Walpurgis, Walburgh ou Wealburg

Elle est appelée sainte Gauburge à Nogent-le-Rotrou en Eure-et-Loir, et Walpurgis en Bavière, d’où le nom de « nuit de Walpurgis » donné à la nuit du 1er mai, où on la célèbre dans cette région. Elle devint en 761 abbesse du couvent de Heidenheim an der Brenz, dans le Bade-Wurtemberg, en Jura souabe.

Cette Anglaise, née vers 710 dans le Wessex, était la fille de saint Richard, roi des Saxons de l’Ouest († 722). Sœur des saints Willibald et Winebald, lorsque son père partit avec ses deux frères en pèlerinage à Jérusalem, Walburge fut confiée à l’abbesse de Wimborne Minster (Winburn), près de Poole, dans le Dorset, abbaye dont la Règle était extrêmement stricte, où elle reçut une éducation soignée. Son abbesse, Tetta, l’envoya avec un groupe de moniales en Allemagne où elles étaient attendues par saint Boniface – probablement son oncle maternel – qui s’efforçait de créer des foyers monastiques nombreux pour parfaire l’évangélisation des peuples germains. Elle rejoignit, dans le sud du pays, à Eichstadt (Eichstätt, Bavière actuelle), son frère Willibald qui avait été choisi par Boniface pour être le premier évêque de cette ville, tandis que son second frère, Winnibald, venait de fonder, aux environs, un monastère d’hommes à Heidenheim. Près de là, elle établit une communauté féminine et, quand en 761 Winnibald mourut, elle assuma seule la direction des deux fondations. A sa mort (25 février 779) son corps demeura à Heidenheim. Les pèlerins vinrent en grand nombre sur son tombeau. En 870 ses reliques furent transférées à Eichstätt, près de celles de ses frères et de Boniface, translation solennelle qui équivalut à une canonisation. Ses restes furent gardés par un collège de chanoinesses, remplacées, vers 1035-1042, par des bénédictines. Ce fut l’origine de l’abbaye célèbre de Sainte-Walburge qui fut un grand foyer de culture et qui existe encore de nos jours. Les reliques de la sainte, vite l’objet d’une grande dévotion, furent répandues dans toute l’Allemagne, dans le pays-Bas et en France – où elles parvinrent, semble-t-il, sous le règne de Charles le Chauve. Trois paroisses du département de l’Orne sont placées sous son patronage. Les souvenirs païens associèrent Walpurgis au retour du printemps. Le 30 avril, en Suède, on fête « la Nuit de Walpurgis », c’est-à-dire le retour du printemps et de la lumière.

Dans l’église abbatiale Sainte-Walburge, sous le maître-autel, ce qui subsiste de son corps est renfermé dans un reliquaire posé sur une pierre. Chaque année, du 12 octobre – date de la translation – jusqu’au 25 février – date de la mort – suinte sur celle-ci un « liquide semblable à l’eau pure » (Walburgisöl) auquel beaucoup de miracles sont attribués.

Les fêtes de sa translation sont célébrées le 1er mai, le 12 octobre à Eichstätt, et le 24 septembre à Zutphen.

SOURCE : http://www.martyretsaint.com/walburge/



Sainte Walburge, Bénédictine Orthodoxe et sainte patronne d'Oudenaarde

Fêtée les 25 et 26 février, sainte Walburge (Walburga ou Walpurgis) fut une des Bénédictines Anglo-Saxonnes engagées dans l'oeuvre missionnaire en Germanie au 8ème siècle, aux côtés du plus célèbre évangélisateur de l'époque, l'évêque saint Boniface, futur martyr à Fulda.

Walburge naquit vers 710 dans le Devon, fille d'un chef Saxon de l'ouest. Du fait de sa parenté avec la famille royale, on la représente fréquemment avec l'écusson des armes des Plantagenet.

Pour être formée, Walburge fut envoyée au monastère double [*] de Wimbourne, dans le Dorset, où elle devint moniale. Saint Boniface, qui était un parent, fit appel pour avoir de nouvelles recrues venant l'aider à l'évangélisation de la Germanie. Deux des frères de Walburge, saint Willibald et saint Wynnebald, y étaient déjà partis en 739. Il n'est dès lors pas surprenant que Walburge répondit à l'appel, avec d'autres compagnes. Parmi les partants on trouvait Hugeburc, qui écrira la 'Vie de saint Wynnebald', qui est la source d'information à propos de Walburge elle-même. Il existe une tradition rapportant qu'avant de quitter l'Angleterre, le groupe rendit visite à l'abbaye de Minster dans le Kent. C'est assez probable, vu que l'abbesse, Eadburga, était amie et correspondante de saint Boniface, et que cela se trouvait très près d'un port de départ pour la traversée de la Manche.

Sur le Continent, elles firent d'abord le voyage vers Mayence, où elles furent accueillies par Boniface lui-même. Ensuite elles furent envoyées à Tauberbischofsheim où Walburge prêcha et développa ses talents médicaux. Après 2 ans, elle fut envoyée à Heidenheim où se trouvait un monastère de moines qui avait été fondé par ses frères Wynnebald et Willibald, ce dernier étant devenu évêque d'Eichstätt. Avec ses moniales, elle en fit un monastère double, le seul connu pour avoir existé en Germanie. Heidenheim suivit la Règle de saint Benoît et devint un important centre, non seulement pour la propagation de la Règle, mais aussi pour l'évangélisation et la prière.

Saint Wynnebald étant mort en 761, Walburge devint l'unique supérieure tant pour les moniales que pour les moines. D'après la 'Vie de Wynnebald' par Hugeburc, Heidenheim était un champ de mission fort difficile, avec 'beaucoup de dépravation païenne, beaucoup d'idolâtres," et des adversaires "prêts à assassiner et incendier." En plus de l'oeuvre missionnaire, il y avait aussi les difficultés liées au fait d'être supérieure d'un monastère d'hommes, qui n'étaient pas habitués à être dirigés par une femme, les monastères doubles étant inconnus en Germanie. Ce fut une implantation relativement importante, avec des ateliers, un moulin, et des fermes laitières. On possède peu de détails de la règle de Walburge, saut qu'elle était "une personne sensible et vulnérable, qui savait être patiente et pardonnait. Elle devait irradier la bonté et la luminosité" (Brigitta zu Münster). Une tradition nous rapporte que lorsque le portier de l'abbatiale refusa d'éclairer le chemin pour Walburge et ses moniales durant une nuit noire, elle irradia d'elle-même une lumière miraculeuse et puissante.

Walburge mourut en 779, et fut enterrée à Heidenheim. Après la mort de saint Willibald en 787, son successeur l'évêque Gerhoh, transforma le monastère en une maison pour le chapitre d'Eichstätt pour prêtres séculiers. Cela ne redevint pas une abbaye bénédictine avant 1150, hétérodoxe cette fois.

Entre-temps, en 870, les reliques de Walburge furent transférées dans le tombeau de son frère à Eichstätt, où son culte s'enracina et où elle fut vénérée comme sainte. De l'huile médicinale coula du rocher autour de sa tombe (et il en est encore ainsi jusqu'à nos jours), et cela devint un centre de pèlerinage. En 893, sa tombe fut ouverte et ses reliques répandues en divers lieu, qui devinrent à leur tour centres de son culte, comme à Oudernaarde, dont elle est la sainte patronne, ou à Veurne, (...)

[*] un monastère double, c'est un monastère qui a une communauté de moniales aux côtés d'une communauté de moines, avec clôture stricte mais certaines activités communes. On en voit un exemple actuel avec le monastère Saint-Silouane, à Saint-Mars-de-Locquenay, dans la Sarthe (patriarcat de Constantinople)

belle Icône sur cette page-ci:
http://www.comeandseeicons.com/w/cap42.htm

De la Règle de Saint Benoît

"Tous les hôtes qui se présentent ont à être accueillis comme le Christ, car Lui-même dira : J'étais un étranger, et vous M'avez accueilli. .. Il faudrait faire preuve de toute humilité en s'adressant à un hôte à son arrivée ou départ. En inclinant la tête, ou par une complète prostration du corps, Christ sera adoré, parce qu'Il est en effet accueillit en eux." RB 53 1-2, 6-7

Saint Benoît et le Carême : quels "outils" utiliser pour faire le bien?
- le 4ème chapître de la "Regula", programme de Grand Carême idéal





Walburga, OSB Abbess (RM)

(also known as Bugga, Gaudurge, Vaubourg, Walpurga, Walpurgis)

Born in Devonshire, Wessex, England; died at Heidenheim, Swabia, Germany, February 25, 779; feasts of her translation are celebrated May 1, October 12 (to Eichstätt), and September 24 (to Zutphen).


When Saint Boniface evangelized the Germans, he took with him as fellow apostles his two nephews, Willibald and Winebald, who were the sons of Saint Richard, king of the West Saxons. So successful was their enterprise that fresh reinforcements of missionaries were requested and the monasteries of England were stirred by the news of their progress. Indeed, it was hardly possible to restrain the ardent faith and enthusiasm of those who wanted to join them, and there sailed boat after boat of eager volunteers.

Nor in that stirring hour were the womenfolk unmoved in their wish to follow, and Boniface asked for a colony of nuns to be sent out. Among them was his own niece, Walburga, a nun of Wimborne under Saint Tatta and sister of Willibald and Winebald, for she, too, had heard the call and had immediately followed Saint Lioba to Germany.

Walburga had been educated at the double monastery of Wimbourne in Dorset and decided there to consecrate her life to God by becoming a nun. When she answered the call to Germany, she spent two years evangelizing in Bischofsheim, impressing the pagans with her medical skills.

Winebald founded a double monastery at Heidenheim, where she was appointed abbess and Winebald ruled the men. She must have been a remarkable woman, for so great was her influence that on his death the bishop of Eichstätt appointed Walburga in his place and gave her charge over both the men's and women's congregations. Walburga died as abbess of Heidenheim, whence her relics were translated to Eichstätt.

This English woman had the curious destiny of attaining a place in German folklore. The night of May 1 (the date of the transfer of her relics to Eichstätt in 870) became known as Walpurgisnacht. May 1 had been a pagan festival marking the beginning of summer and the revels of witches, hence the traditions of Walpurgisnacht, which have no intrinsic connection with the saint. Nevertheless, her name became associated with witchcraft and other superstitions (cf. Goethe's Faust, pt. i, Walpurgis night in the Hartz mountains). It is possible, however, that the protection of crops ascribed to her, represented by the three ears of corn in her icons, may have been transferred to her from Mother Earth (Walborg).

Her shrine was an important pilgrimage site because of the 'miraculous oil' that exudes from the rock on which her shrine is placed. A fine collection of 16th- to 20th-century phials for its distribution is kept at Eichstätt. In 893, Walburga's relics were inspected and diffused, some to the Rhineland, others to Flanders and France, which spread her cultus to other countries. One important center was Attigny, where Charles the Simple established a shrine in his palace chapel and named her patron of his kingdom. Today she lies peacefully in the vault of the 17th- century Baroque church bearing her name--a symbol not of witchcraft, but of Christian healing and mission (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Gill).

In art, Saint Walburga is generally portrayed as a royal abbess with a small flask of oil on a book. At times (1) she may have three ears of corn in her hand; (2) angels hold a crown over her; (3) she is shown in a family tree of the Kings of England; (4) she is shown together with her saintly brothers; or (5) miracles are taking place because of the oil extruding from her tomb (Roeder). She is venerated at Eichstätt (Roeder). Walburga has been portrayed by artists from the 11th until the 19th centuries. Especially noteworthy is a 15th-century tapestry cycle of her life. A modern abbess of Eichstätt was sufficiently important to be selected to negotiate the surrender of the town to the Americans at the end of the Second World War.

Saint Walburga is invoked against coughs, dog bite (rabies), plague, and for good harvests (Roeder). 

SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0225.shtml



St. Walburga

(WALTPURDE, WALPURGIS; at Perche GAUBURGE; in other parts of France VAUBOURG, FALBOURG).

Born in Devonshire, about 710; died at Heidenheim, 25 Feb., 777. She is the patroness of Eichstadt, Oudenarde, Furnes, Antwerp, Gronigen, Weilburg, and Zutphen, and is invoked as special patroness against hydrophobia, and in storms, and also by sailors. She was the daughter of St. Richard, one of the under-kings of the West Saxons, and of Winna, sister of St. Boniface, Apostle of Germany, and had two brothers, St. Willibald and St. Winibald. St. Richard, when starting with his two sons on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, entrusted Walburga, then eleven years old, to the abbess of Wimborne. In the claustral school and as a member of the community, she spent twenty-six years preparing for the great work she was to accomplish in Germany. The monastery was famous for holiness and austere discipline. There was a high standard at Wimborne, and the child was trained in solid learning, and in accomplishments suitable to her rank. Thanks to this she was later able to write St. Winibald's Life and an account in Latin of St. Willibald's travels in Palestine. She is thus looked upon by many as the first female author of England and Germany. Scarcely a year after her arrival, Walburga received tidings of her father's death at Lucca. During this period St. Boniface was laying the foundations of the Church in Germany. He saw that for the most part scattered efforts would be futile, or would exert but a passing influence. He, therefore, determined to bring the whole country under an organized system. As he advanced in his spiritual conquests he established monasteries which, like fortresses, should hold the conquered regions, and from whose watch-towers the light of faith and learning should radiate far and near.

Boniface was the first missionary to call women to his aid. In 748, in response to his appeal, Abbess Tetta sent over to Germany St. Lioba and St. Walburga, with many other nuns. They sailed with fair weather, but before long a terrible storm arose. Hereupon Walburga prayed, kneeling on the deck, and at once the sea became calm. On landing, the sailors proclaimed the miracle they had witnessed, so that Walburga was everywhere received with joy and veneration. There is a tradition in the Church of Antwerp that, on her way to Germany, Walburga made some stay there; and in that city's most ancient church, which now bears the title of St. Walburga, there is pointed out a grotto in which she was wont to pray. This same church, before adopting the Roman Office, was accustomed to celebrate the feast of St. Walburga four times a year. At Mainz she was welcomed by her uncle, St. Boniface, and by her brother, St. Willibald. After living some time under the rule of St. Lioba at Bischofsheim, she was appointed abbess of Heidenheim, and was thus placed near her favourite brother, St. Winibald, who governed an abbey there. After his death she ruled over the monks' monastery as well as her own. Her virtue, sweetness, and prudence, added to the gifts of grace and nature with which she was endowed, as well as the many miracles she wrought, endeared her to all. It was of these nuns that Ozanam wrote: "Silence and humility have veiled the labours of the nuns from the eyes of the world, but history has assigned them their place at the very beginning of German civilization: Providence has placed women at ever cradleside." On 23 Sept., 776, she assisted at the translation of her brother St. Winibald's body by St. Willibald, when it was found that time had left no trace upon the sacred remains. Shortly after this she fell ill, and, having been assisted in her last moments by St. Willibald, she expired.

St. Willibald laid her to rest beside St. Winibald, and many wonders were wrought at both tombs. St. Willibald survived till 786, and after his death devotion to St. Walburga gradually declined, and her tomb was neglected. About 870, Otkar, then Bishop of Eichstadt, determined to restore the church and monastery of Heidenheim, which were falling to ruin. The workmen having desecrated St. Walburga's grave, she one night appeared to the bishop, reproaching and threatening him. This led to the solemn translation of the remains to Eichstadt on 21 Sept. of the same year. They were placed in the Church of Holy Cross, now called St. Walburga's. In 893 Bishop Erchanbold, Otkar's successor, opened the shrine to take out a portion of the relics for Liubula, Abbess of Monheim, and it was then that the body was first discovered to be immersed in a precious oil or dew, which from that day to this (save during a period when Eichstadt was laid under interdict, and when blood was shed in the church by robbers who seriously wounded the bell-ringer) has continued to flow from the sacred remains, especially the breast. This fact has caused St. Walburga to be reckoned among the Elaephori, or oil-yielding saints (see OIL OF SAINTS). Portions of St. Walburga's relics have been taken to Cologne, Antwerp, Furnes, and elsewhere, whilst her oil has been carried to all quarters of the globe.

The various translations of St. Walburga's relics have led to a diversity of feasts in her honour. In the Roman Martyrology she is commemorated on 1 May, her name being linked with St. Asaph's, on which day her chief festival is celebrated in Belgium and Bavaria. In the Benedictine Breviary her feast is assigned to 25 (in leap year 26) Feb. She is represented in the Benedictine habit with a little phial or bottle; as an abbess with a crozier, a crown at her feet, denoting her royal birth; sometimes she is represented in a group with St. Philip and St. James the Less, and St. Sigismund, King of Burgundy, because she is said to have been canonized by Pope Adrian II on 1 May, the festival of these saints. If, however, as some maintain, she was canonized during the episcopate of Erchanbold, not in Otkar's, then it could not have been during the pontificate of Adrian II. The Benedictine community of Eichstadt is flourishing, and the nuns have care of the saint's shrine; that of Heidenheim was ruthlessly expelled in 1538, but the church is now in Catholic hands.

Casanova, Gertrude. "St. Walburga." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 26 Feb. 2017 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15526b.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Tim Drake.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.




Nikolaus Gottfried Stuber, Sainte Walburga.vers 1720
Santa Valburga (Valpurga) Badessa di Heidenheim

Devonshire, Wessex, Inghilterra, 710 c. - Heidenheim, Germania, 25 febbraio 779

Di lei si sa che visse nel secolo VIII, di stirpe inglese, Valburga era sorella dei santi Villibaldo e Vunibaldo, faceva parte del gruppo di monache e monaci che aiutarono s. Bonifacio (680-755) ad evangelizzare la Germania. Era monaca nel monastero di Wimborne (Dorset) e dopo due anni divenne badessa delle monache del doppio monastero, istituito da suo fratello Villibaldo ad Heidenheim, mentre l’altro fratello Vunibaldo guidava il ramo maschile. Alla morte di Vunibaldo, prese lei la direzione dell’intera istituzione, rimanendo badessa per tutta la vita.

Martirologio Romano: Nel monastero di Heidenheim nella Franconia in Germania, santa Valburga, badessa, che, su richiesta di san Bonifacio e dei suoi fratelli i santi Villibaldo e Vinebaldo, dall’Inghilterra venne in Germania, dove resse saggiamente due monasteri, di monaci e di monache.
Il suo nome è stato trascritto in varie forme: Valpurga, Valburga, Valpurgis. Lei è una delle figure più rappresentative tra i missionari inglesi che nel secolo VIII d.C. diffondono e organizzano il cristianesimo in terra tedesca. Li guida Vinfrido, più conosciuto poi come san Bonifacio e definito l’“apostolo della Germania”, che ha chiamato a quest’impresa molti suoi parenti. Anche Valpurga è una di loro: ha studiato in un monastero del Wessex e poi ha raggiunto la Germania con altre religiose d’Inghilterra. (In questo gruppo di missionari c’è anche la futura santa Leoba o Lioba, una religiosa educata nel monastero dell’isoletta di Thanet, e poi animatrice del monachesimo femminile nel mondo tedesco). 

Di lei si sa che visse nel secolo VIII, di stirpe inglese, Valburga era sorella dei santi Villibaldo e Vunibaldo, faceva parte del gruppo di monache e monaci che aiutarono s. Bonifacio (680-755) ad evangelizzare la Germania. 

In Germania, Valpurga trova i suoi due fratelli: Villibaldo, che è vescovo di Eichstätt, nella Baviera; e Vinnibaldo, che dirige a Heidenheim un monastero “doppio”, formato cioè da una comunità maschile e da una femminile sotto un unico abate. Questa è una novità trapiantata dall’Inghilterra, e qui Valpurga diventa badessa dopo la morte del fratello nel 761: una donna che comanda anche agli uomini. Guidata da lei, l’abbazia continua a essere un centro di forte irradiazione religiosa e culturale, e di aiuto alla gente del luogo, secondo la tradizione benedettina. Non vi mancano le monache scrittrici come Ugeburga, biografa dei due fratelli Villibaldo e Vinnibaldo. 

Valpurga guida monaci e monache di Heidenheim per diciotto anni, fino alla sua morte, e subito dopo si diffonde intorno alla sua figura una venerazione popolare che dura nel tempo. Circa un secolo dopo, il vescovo di Eichstätt fa portare il corpo di Valpurga nella sua città, e altre reliquie arrivano in Francia e nelle Fiandre. Dalla sua nuova tomba trasuda per qualche tempo una sostanza liquida che, secondo alcuni, sarebbe un medicamento prodigioso. Un’ingenua voce, che a suo modo tramanda la fama di Valpurga come soccorritrice dei sofferenti. Venerata come santa per voce dei fedeli, in suo onore sono state istituite due feste: nell’anniversario della morte (25 febbraio) e poi nel giorno della sua traslazione a Eichstätt, avvenuta il 1° maggio 870. Ma la notte sul 1° maggio – secondo remote leggende precristiane diffuse nel mondo germanico – era anche quella in cui una moltitudine di streghe si abbandonava a deliranti festini, in mezzo a "un nebbione d’inferno", mentre "irrompe a fiumi un furibondo canto di magia" (dal Faust di Goethe). Per questa casuale coincidenza cronologica, l’immaginaria notte delle streghe scatenate viene anche chiamata “notte di santa Valpurga”. Due realtà distanti, che proprio non hanno nulla da spartire. 

Nell’893 ci fu una cerimonia di diffusione delle sue reliquie, considerata come una ‘canonizzazione’, alcune furono mandate nelle Fiandre, nella Francia del Nord e nella Renania, contribuendo così alla diffusione del culto per santa Valburga. 

Il re di Francia, Carlo III il Semplice (879-929), costruì nel suo palazzo ad Attigny, un santuario a lei dedicato. È celebrata normalmente nel giorno della sua morte il 25 febbraio, ma ha anche altre date celebrative a Eichstätt e Zutphen.

Autore: Antonio Borrelli