Full text: Beauties of continental architecture

THE ABBEY OF ST. BERTIN, ST. OMER. 
As we have had several occasions to speak of St. Omer, as the founder of this 
Abbey, it will not be beside the purpose to give here a sketch of the principal 
incidents of his life. 
St. Omer was the son of Friulfe and Domitte, both of them belonging to 
wealthy and noble families. He was born at Goldenthar, near the city of 
Constance, on the Upper Rhine. While yet very young he entered the monastery 
of Luxeu, (otherwise called Luxeuil, and Luxeul,) in Franche Comte, at the foot of 
the Vosges mountains. This town, the Lucovium of the Romans, was ruined by 
Attila in 450, and became afterwards celebrated for the Abbey founded there by 
St. Columban, under Gontran. St. Omer was received there in 615, by the Abbot 
Eustatius. In 636, King Dagobert appointed him to the Bishopric of Terouanne, 
which had remained vacant ever since the death of Athalbert in 552, who was the 
second bishop of the diocese. As soon as he was raised to this high dignity, 
St. Omer seriously set about restoring discipline in the diocese, which, after being 
so long neglected, was in a deplorable state. In 645, Aldroaldus, a rich and pious 
nobleman, gave him Sithieu, where he erected this magnificent abbey, and came 
himself to reside there in 660. Towards the latter end of his life he became blind, 
and in this state attended at the removal of the relics of St. Vaast in the year 667, 
and died in 668. He was buried by St. Bertin in the Abbey of Sithieu. He was 
first worshipped as a saint in France in the reign of Louis le Debonnaire. His name 
is inserted in the Martyrologies on the 9th of December, the day of his death. 
The admirers of the fine remains of this beautiful and inimitable Gothic archi 
tecture, will doubtless protest against the Vandalism of the decision which has 
decreed the demolition of the splendid ruins of the Abbey of St. Bertin, to convert 
the site into a market.
	        

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