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St. Alena, Martyr, of Belgium

Commemorated on June 18

St. Alena was born in Dilbeek, just outside Brussels, Belgium, in the seventh century. She was baptized without the knowledge of her pagan parents.

Alena secretly attended mass, giving varying excuses to her parents. One night her father told his guards to follow her and, after tracking her for quite some time, they witnessed Alena entering a chapel in Vorst. Her father came to the conclusion that Christians had bewitched her into conversion, and ordered that she be arrested. When her father’s guards attempted to arrest her she resisted. During the struggle, her arm was severed, and she offered her soul up to God. The arm was taken by an angel and placed before the altar in the chapel where she regularly worshiped.

After witnessing these miracles, her parents converted to Christianity. In traditional art she is seen with one arm severed, healing a blind man, or with an angel helping her.

The chapel in Forest, Belgium, a municipality of Brussels, holds her relics and is a popular pilgrimage site.

By permission of