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ST. VANENG, C.

FROM various fragments of ancient histories of his life, the most modern of which was compiled in the twelfth century, it appears that Vaneng was made by Clotaire III. governor of that part of Neustria, or Normandy, which was anciently inhabited by the Caletes, and is called Pais de Caux, at which time he took, great pleasure in hunting. Nevertheless, he was very pious, and particularly devout to St. Eulalia of Barcelona, called in Guienne, St. Aulaire. One night he seemed, in a dream, to hear that holy Virgin and Martyr repeat to him those words of our blessed Redeemer in the gospel, that “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to be saved.” Soon after this he quitted the world, assisted St. Vandrille in building the churches of SS. Peter and Paul at Foutenelles, and founded in the valley of Fécam* a church in honor of the holy Trinity, with a great nunnery adjoining, under the direction of St. Owen and St. Vandrille. Hildemarca, a very virtuous nun, was called from Bourdeaux, and appointed the first abbess. Under her, three hundred and sixty nuns served God in this house, and were divided into as many choirs as were sufficient, by succeeding one another, to continue the divine office night and day without interruption. St. Vaneng died about the year 688, and is honored, in the Gallican and Benedictin Martyrologies, on the 9th of January; but at St. Vandrille’s, and in other monasteries in Normandy, on the 31st of January This saint is titular patron of several churches in Aquitain and Normandy; one near Touars in Poictou has given its name to the village of St. Vaneng. His body is possessed in a rich shrine, in the abbatial church of Our Lady at Ham, in Picardy, belonging to the regular canons of St. Genevieve. See Mabillon, t. 2, p. 972; Bollandus, and chiefly the life of St. Vaneng, judiciously collected and printed at Paris in 1700;† also, the breviary of the abbey of Fontenelle, now St. Vandrille’s. The abbeys of Fécam, St. Vandrille, Jumiege, Bee, St. Stephen’s at Caen, Cerisy, &c., are now of the reformed congregation of St. Maur, abbot of St. Benignus, at Dijon, whose life Bollandus has given us among the saints, January 1. Fécam, honored by the dukes of Normandy above all their other monasteries, is the richest and most magnificent abbey in Normandy.










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