Who is Saint Amelia?

St. Amelia was born in 741, in the Ardennes region, bordering present-day Belgium and Luxembourg. Raised in a deeply religious home, Amelia and her brother Roden were know for their sterling character and devotion to Christ.

Amelia was preparing to become a religious sister in the Benedictine Abbey at Munsterbilsen, when her beauty and virtue caught the attention of Pepin, king of the Franks, and his son Charles, later known as Charlemagne. Charles pursued her for several years, and at one point broke Amelia’s arm in a struggle. The arm was miraculously healed and Charles resigned himself to Amelia’s religious vocation. Amelia journeyed to Temsche, on the River Schelde, about 15 miles southwest of Antwerp, where she built a church dedicated to Mary.

Many miracles are attributed to her, before and after her death 772. She is often depicted holding the Bible or venerating the crucifix, sometimes with a fish at her feet, owing to the legend that she arrived in Temsche by crossing the Schelde on the back of a fish. She is officially a patron of farmers and fishermen and is often invoked by young people struggling to remain faithful to Jesus and for healing of injuries of the arms and shoulders. Her feast day is July 10.