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St. Bertha of Val d'or, near Avenay, Reims, France

clip_image001Commemorated on May 1

St. Bertha was the wife of St. Gumbert, Lord of Champenois, a nobleman of royal blood. St. Gumbert built a nunnery for his wife and her maidens at Avenay, and retired to a monastery on the coast, where he was soon afterwards put to death by pagan marauders.

Legend has it that when the people of Avenay suffered from a lack of water, St. Peter appeared to Bertha and showed her a field where there was a good spring which she then bought for a pound of silver. It became a holy well which was believed to cure diseases, and it supplied both her own nuns and the hamlet of Avenay with water.

In 690, St. Bertha was martyred by her husband’s relatives, who were indignant at the distribution of his money to the poor.

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