Adalbert I of Ostrevent († ca.652), was a 7th-century Frankish nobleman of the Court of King Clovis II of France.[1] He is recognized as a saint,[2][3] and is commemorated both on 2 February (his martyrdom) and 2 May (translation of his relics to Douai in 1221).


Adalbard I of Ostrevent
Gascony, France
Venerated inCatholic Church
  • February 2
  • May 2
InfluencesSaint Amand of Maastricht


Adalbald was the son of Gerberga, daughter of the magister militum Richomer and Gertrude of Hamage († 649), who founded a convent at Hamage near Douai. According to Alban Butler, Adalbald had two brothers, Sigefrid, count of Ponthieu, and Archenald, Mayor of the Palace to Clovis II, son of Dagobert, to whom they were related.[4] His relationship with Merovingian King Dagobert has been proposed to have been through his mother Gerberga, and her putative sister Bertrude[5] (or perhaps Haldetrude, Clothar's first wife).[6] However, Karine Ugé argues that the connection between Adalbald and Erchinoald is a fiction developed by the canons of Saint-Amé at Douai to enhance a connection with Rictrude.[7]

Adalbald was one of the leading nobles and claimed lordship of Douai. He was a disciple of Amand of Maastricht. In 630, Adalbald founded Marchiennes Abbey. During a military expedition in Gascony, he met and married Rictrude of Marchiennes, daughter of Ernoldo, lord of Toulouse,[8] despite the opposition of both families. Although her parents approved, others opposed a marriage to a Frank. The marriage was said to be happy. Their four children: Eusebia of Douai (Ysoir)(† ca. 680), abbess at Hamay-les-Marchiennes near Arras; Adalsinda, a religious sister at Hamay(† 714), ; Maurant, the eldest, and abbot of Breuil († 702), ; and Clotsinda († 714), are venerated as saints.

The couple opened their castle to the poor and disadvantaged. The hermit-monk Richarius was a family friend.[9] Adalbald's wife made Marchiennes Abbey a double monastery in 643.

Adalbard was assassinated in obscure circumstances around 652, near Périgueux during a subsequent expedition to Aquitaine, probably by his wife's relatives still bitter about the marriage to an enemy of her people. His body was returned to Flanders and buried at Saint-Amand Abbey where he was venerated as a martyr, as his death had taken place in a region which largely had not yet adopted Christianity. His name, however, is not currently mentioned in the liturgical calendars of Cambrai and Lille.

After the death of Adalbald, his brother Archenald rebuilt the castle of Douai, (which gave rise to the town,) and founded the church of our Lady, now called Saint Amatus’s.[4][10]


  1. Monks of Ramsgate. “Adalbald”. Book of Saints, 1921. CatholicSaints.Info. 30 April 2012 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. Nominis : Saint Adalbade
  3. Forum : saints pour le 2 février du calendrier ecclésiastique
  4. Alban Butler, Alban. “Saint Mauront, Abbot”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 4 May 2013 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  5. Chaume, Maurice ' 'Les origines du Duche de Bourgogne' '. Darmstadt: Scientia Verlag Aalen, 1977, partie II,1 p. 264"
  6. Bush, Annie Forbes. Memoirs of the Queens of France, Parry & Macmillan, 1854, p. 58 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  7. Ugé, Karine. "The Legend of Rictrude", Anglo-Norman Studies XXIII: Proceedings of the Battle Conference 2000, Boydell & Brewer, 2001, p. 294ISBN 9780851158259
  8. "Sant 'Adalbaldo", Santi e Beati, November 1, 2008
  9. Van den Akker sj, Dries. "Adalbald of Douai", Heiligen, 2008
  10. He should not be confused with Saint Adalbert II of Ostrevent (died 790), father of Saint Renfroie de Danain.

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