Today (30 June) in the calendar of early western saints we commemorate St Erentrude, first abbess of Salzburg. From Miss Dunbar:
St. Erentrude, June 30 (EHRENTRAUD, ERENDRUDIS, ERENTRUY, ERNDRUDE, ARENTRUDA, ARIOTRUDA, ARNDRUDA), V. Abbess. 7th century.
Patron and first abbess of Salzburg. Niece of St. Rupert, or Robert, bishop of Worms, and afterwards of Salzburg. She lived at Worms, and was consecrated to God from her childhood. The people of Worms ill-used Rupert, and drove him out because he continually reproved their vices. He then preached and baptized at Ratisbon, Lorch, and Salzburg, where he made many converts and built several churches. Christianity had been introduced two hundred years earlier by St. Severinus ; but the inhabitants had relapsed into paganism, and as Rupert feared they might fall away again from the faith, he prayed that God would choose some good men and women to establish the Church he had planted anew.
Rupert went to France for some holy men to serve in his churches, and to Worms for his niece Erentrude, for whom before he brought her, he built the convent of Nunberg, near Salzburg. When she saw him she was very glad that she was found worthy to see him again before she died. He took her into the oratory, and said, ‘Do you know what I have come for ?’ She said, ‘Yes, father, for the Lord has revealed it to me in spirit, saying, Go in peace whither thou art called, for I will be with thee, and thou shalt lead many women to Me.’ So they went to Salzburg, and Rupert made her abbess of his new convent, where she taught and governed a great number of holy nuns, and did much good.
One day Rupert came to Erentrude and asked her to promise something he was going to ask her. She consented, He told her he knew he should soon die, and he begged her to pray for his salvation. She answered with tears that it would be better for her to die first. ‘Sister,’ he answered, ‘think not of hastening your own departure from this world, for that would be a great sin.’ ‘Remember, father, I pray you, that you took me away from my own country,
that I have followed you hither alone, and have no stay on earth but you ; grant me this one request that if I must not die before you nor with you, you will pray that I may follow you soon.’ He consented, and they talked a long time of the future life and its happiness, and sadly said their last farewell.
Papebroch places the foundation of the church of Salzburg by St. Rupert about 630 Bucelinus gives a legend that St. Henry II, emperor (1002-1024), was cured of leprosy by the intercession of Erentrude, and wore a relic of her in a gold ring from that time ; he lost the ring, and immediately his leprosy returned. He vowed to rebuild her monastery which had been burnt, and was cured at once and for life. AA.SS. Butler.
Ton 4 Tropaire à sainte Erentrude, higoumène, (Natalice au 8ème siècle)
Ton père spirituel était saint Rupert,*
Ton oncle, évangélisateur de Bavière.*
Sous sa direction, tu fondas un saint couvent*
Sur les ruines de ce qui deviendra Salzbourg.*
Et tu en devins l’higoumène zélée.*
Sainte Erentrude, prie le Seigneur pour nos âmes!
Your spiritual Father was St Rupert,
Your uncle, evangelist to Bavaria.
Under his direction, you founded a holy convent
On the ruins of what would become Salzburg
And you became its zealous abbess.
Saint Erentrude, pray to the Lord for our souls!
The convent at Nonnberg is perhaps the oldest in the world that has been occupied by nuns continuously since its 8th century foundation. Eretrude is still very much remembered and honoured.
You might recognise it from The Sound of Music – Maria Kutschera (later Von Trapp) was a nun there.
Canon O’Hanlon’s account of Erentrude is provided by Brigit at Under the Oak
Holy Mother Erentrude, pray to God for us.