Saint Hadelin of Celles

Source: Willem Vandenameele

Saint Hadelin is a figure who lived between 617 and 690.

Originally from Aquitaine , he found himself close to the court of Sigebert, King of Austrasia, at the beginning of his career. He then decides to live far from the world and, under the leadership of Saint-Remacle, retreats to a cave in the middle of the forests of the Condroz . His holiness, famous in the region, attracts many companions who, in order to live next to him, build small houses. These lie at the origin of the current village of Celles. The name Celles comes from the Latin 'cella' meaning cell, the name given to the small dwellings of the disciples of Saint Hadelin.

Hadelinus was seen as a counselor for rich and poor. During the Middle Ages, several miraculous stories arose about Hadelinus. The recurring legends are the healing of the terminally ill wife of the lord of Béon, the healing of a deaf and mute woman, the making of a fountain in Franchimont near Philippeville and the raising of a woman named Guiza from the dead .

In this newly developed city , Hadelin founded a monastery that he added to the Benedictine order. After his death, his companions appointed an abbot and a provost. A college of canons was established here from the 10th century. The abbey then became a collegiate church .

In 1338, after an open conflict with the lords of Celles, the canons left their collegiate church, moved to Visé under the protection of the Prince-Bishop of Liège, taking with them the shrine of Saint Hadelin. This is still present several centuries after the events in the collegiate church of Saint-Martin in Visé. It is carried in procession every third Sunday of September 2

The Church of Celles has remained a place of pilgrimage ever since and if it has indeed become a parish church, but still retains the title of collegiate church, a church cannot be downgraded.


Source: Willem Vandenameele - Wikipedia

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