Saint of the Day – 3 February – Saint Hadelin of Chelles (c617-c690) Priest, Monk, Hermit, Founder of Monasteries, Miracle-worker. Born at Gascony (in modern France) and died in c690 at the Monastery of Celles, Visé, Namour, Belgium of natural causes. Patronages – against children’s illnesses, of Visé, of Celles, Belgium. Also known as – Hadelin of Dinant, Adelino, Adelin, Adelinus. Additional emorial – 11 October (translation of relics), the Sunday following the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin (8 September).
Of noble parentage, Hadelin lived at the Court of Sigebert III of Austrasia. He then became a disciple and student of St Remaclus (Died c673), firstly at Solignac Abbey and then at Cougnon Abbey, in the Duchy of Luxemburg. Later he moved to Stavelot Abbey, founded by St Remaclus in 650.
Around 651, St Remaclus became the Bishop of Tongres and brought Hadelin with him. From this base, St Remaclus with Hadelin and the Monks of Stavelot, evangelised the surrounding regions.
In 669, returning from a trip to Rome, Hadelin settled in the Lesse valley, near Dinant and built the Hermitage of Celles Knowing the benefits of a Monastic establishment, the Lords of the region competed in gifts and benefits. Among these, Pépin de Herstal offered some properties to the Hadelin. Here he founded the Monastery of Celles. He later founded another Monastery at Visé.
Hadelin then gathered the novices in Celles and died among them on 3 February 690.
Sadly we have very little information available online of the life of St Hadelin. But he is especially venerated Belgium and most of all in the Diocese of Namur, as founder of the Monastery of Celles. He is the Patron of Celles, where he is celebrated on the Sunday following the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin (8 September). There are numerous Churches in Belgium dedicated to him.
In 1046, Wazon, Prince Bishop of Liège, had the bones of Hadelin, who had become a Saint, placed in a Reliquary and it was not until 1338 that this Reliquary arrived in Visé. This Shrine is now part of the Treasury of Movable and Cultural Heritage of the Federation Wallonia Brussels, it is probably the oldest in Europe.
We can tell from the Reliquary how much of the Life of St Hadelin we do not know. The Reliquary is covered in gold and silver and embossed with eight scenes of the life of St Hadelin depicting the following:
We thus find in the order: Dream of Saint Hadelin and vision of the dove; visit of Saint Hadelin to Saint Remacle; visit of Pepin de Herstal to Celles; Saint Hadelin blesses a group of people in front of his Church; spring miracle; cure of the mute woman; Guiza the dead makes the gesture of donation; funeral of Saint Hadelin.
At the Shrine of St Hadelin, many festivities are celebrated including Jubilee Years receiving special Indulgences from the Pope. There are numerous Churches dedicated to St Hadelin, both in Belgium and France, as well as a Town named after him.