Lambert of Maastricht

Lambert of Maastricht

Infobox Saint
name=Saint Lambert of Maastricht
birth_date=636
death_date=700
feast_day=17 September
venerated_in=Roman Catholic Church


imagesize=200px
caption=The murder & martyrdom of Saint Lambert
birth_place=Maastricht
death_place=Liège
titles=Bishop & Martyr
beatified_date=
beatified_place=
beatified_by=
canonized_date=
canonized_place=
canonized_by=
attributes=
patronage=
major_shrine=Liège.
suppressed_date=
issues=
prayer=
prayer_attrib=

Saint Lambert or Landebertus (c. 636 - c. 700) was the bishop of Maastricht (Tongeren) from about 670 until his death. Lambert was from a noble family of Maastricht, a protegé of his uncle, Bishop Theodard of Maastricht. When Theodard was murdered soon after 669, the councillors of Childeric II made Lambert bishop of Maastricht. Lambert was related to Hugobert and Plectrude, Pepin of Heristal's lawful wife and thus an in-law of hereditary mayors of the palace of Austrasia who controlled the Merovingian kings of Austrasia. After Childeric was murdered in 673, the faction of Ebroin, majordomo of Neustria and the power behind that throne, expelled him from his see, in favor of their candidate, Faramundus. Lambert spent seven years in exile at the recently-founded Abbey of Stavelot (674 –681)). With a change in the turbulent political fortunes of the time, Lambert was returned to his see.

In company with Willibrord, who had come from England in 691, Lambert preached the gospel to the pagans in the lower stretches of the Meuse, in the area that came to be called Brabant.

Shortly after Lambert's (and Plectrude's) family had murdered Dodo, a "domesticus" of Pepin of Heristal and father of Pepin's mistress Alpaida, Dodo's relatives murdered Lambert out of revenge, on his estate, the Gallo-Roman villa that has become Liège. The official Roman Catholic version is that Lambert became a martyr for his defence of marital fidelity, denouncing Pepin's liaison with Alpaida, daughter of Dodo, who was to become the mother of Charles Martel ("CE" "Saint Lambert").

Although Lambert was buried at Maastricht, his successor as bishop, Hubertus, translated his relics to Liège, to which the see of Maastricht was eventually moved, and where the main square remains the "Place Saint-Lambert".

His feast day in the Roman Catholic Church calendar is September 17. The "Lambertusfest" in Münster has long been a folk holiday, celebrated for two weeks culminating on the eve of the 17th of September. Children build "Lambertus pyramids" of branches, decorated with lanterns and lamps around which they dance and sing traditional songs (known as "Lambertussingen" or "Käskenspiel").

External links

* [http://www.heiligenlexikon.de/index.htm?BiographienL/Lambert_von_Maastricht.html"Biografisch-Bibliografisches Heiligenlexikon":] Heilige Lambert (in German)
* [http://www.heiligenlexikon.de/index.htm?BiographienL/Lambert_von_Maastricht.html "Ökumenisches Heiligenlexikon":] Lambert (in German)
* [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08757a.htm "Catholic Encyclopedia":] "Saint Lambert"
* [http://www.heiligenlexikon.de/index.htm?BiographienD/Dagobert_II.htm "Ökumenisches Heiligenlexikon":] Lambert in the reign of Dagobert II (in German)


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