By Maya Kirl (Rated G)
St. Lambert was born in 636 in the noble family of Maastricht, Flanders, Belgium. He was educated in his early years by St. Theodard, and succeeded him as Bishop of Tongres-Maastricht in 668 when Theodard was murdered. St. Lambert is described by early biographers as “a prudent young man, courteous and well behaved, strong, clear headed and fond of reading.” When there was a political uprising in 675, Lambert was exiled to the Abbey of Stavelot for seven years, living the life of a simple monk. After those years, Pepin of Herstal gained power and Lambert was allowed to return to his place. In 691, Lambert, along with Willibrord – an Anglo-Saxon missionary – preached to parts of Meuse. He also founded a convent in Munsterbilzen in 670. St. Lambert got caught up with some political turmoil going on in the early seven hundreds. There were various families fighting for influence as the Merovingian dynasty was falling and the Carolingians were rising to power. Some historians say that St. Lambert was the victim of a private struggle between these two families seeking to control the area that he lived in. St. Lambert denounced Pepin’s adulterous liaison with Alpaida, who later became the mother of Charles Martel. This outraged Pepin and Alpaida. St. Lambert was murdered by the troops of Dodon, Pepin’s manager of state affairs, who happened to be a relative of Alpaida. The year of his death is guessed to be between 705 and 709. He came to be viewed as a martyr for his defence of marital fidelity. Lambert’s two nephews were also killed in defence of their uncle and are also viewed as saints. Hubertus was Lambert’s successor as bishop, and had Lambert’s things moved to a church near where Lambert lived, which became St. Lambert’s cathedral, but it was destroyed in 1794. Now there is a modern Place Saint-Lambert. St. Lambert’s feast day in the Roman Catholic Church is September 17th.