August ~ Stanza 23

great is the legend of Leudwinus, Sainted, Count of Treves
when young, wedded to Willigard, of children, they had three
a miracle occurred, they say, while nappng on a hunt was he
an eagle spread it’s massive wings, providing him with shade
hence, on that spot, built he, a monastery to live his final days


For Jane Dougherty’s August Stanza Challenge.

A bit about my 43rd Great Grandfather, Saint Leudwinus from Wikipedia

Leudwinus was born a French nobleman and was a member of one of the most powerful clans in Austrasia. His father, Warinus, was Count of Poitiers and Gunza of Metz. Lambert of Maastricht was his kinsman. His Frankish name is Liutwin. Leudwinus spent his early life at the royal court of Austrasia[ and was styled Count of Treves. He received his education from his maternal uncle, Saint Basinus, Archbishop of Treves. In 697, Leudwinus signed the Deed of Echternach with his uncle.

Initially uninterested in an ecclesiastical career, Leudwinus married Willigard of Bavaria. Their children were:

Milo, Count of Treves

Wido, Count of Hornbach

(Possibly) Chrotrude of Treves (Rotrude), who married Charles Martel and became Duchess of Austrasia.

According to legend, the abbey in Mettlach was founded after Leudwinus went hunting near Saar. He grew tired and fell asleep under the shade of a tree. As he slept the sun changed positions exposing him to its hot rays, but an eagle swept down and sat on Leudwinus with its wings spread out. When Leudwinus woke up, his servant told him how the eagle had protected him from being burnt by the sun.

Coincidentally, Leudwinus happened to be napping at the site of the Miracle Eagle near the chapel of St. Denis of Paris. Leudwinus saw this as a God-sent sign to establish a Benedictine monastery at that site, and it soon developed into a Christian missionary center. At the location of the original Dionysius Chapel now stands the parish church of St. Gangolf in Mettlach.

When Leudwinus became a widower, he joined the monastery he founded at Mettlach as a simple monk.

In 697, Leudwinus was appointed coadjutor of his uncle Basinus von Trier. In 698, he cofounded the Echternack Abbey at Mettlach.

When Archbishop Basinus died on 4 March 705, Leudwinus succeeded him and was consecrated Archbishop of Treve. Leudwinus was also appointed bishop of Laon. This made him one of the most important church dignitaries of the time in the Frankish kingdom.

Leudwinus died on the 29th of September 722 at Reims. He was succeeded as Archbishop of Treve by his son, Milo, who brought his father’s remains to Treve for burial. However, local customs prevented this, so Leudwinus’ family decided to let the dead saint choose his own place of burial. His coffin was placed on a ship without a crew. It sailed by itself first to Moselle, then Saar, and finally docked at Mettlach, where the church bells began to ring.

Leudwinus was buried in St. Mary’s Church at the Abbey at Mettlach. In 990, St. Mary’s Church was replaced by a new structure called the Old Tower, the oldest preserved stone building in Saar.

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