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Saint Opportuna

Saint Opportuna
  • Century: 8th Century
  • Patronage: Diocese of Seez
  • Feast Day: April 22nd

St. Opportuna was from Montreuil, and was a French Benedictine Nun and Abbess.  When she was a young girl, Opportuna became a Benedictine Nun at the convent called the Monasteriolum, where her cousin St. Lantildis was Abbess.  She took the veil from her brother, St. Chrodegang, the Bishop of Seez.  Montreuil was only three miles from the Abbey, but Chrodegang was murdered on the way to visit his sister there.  Later, Opportuna became Abbess.  She was viewed, as a true mother to all her Nuns, correcting their faults, with words, not blows.  

Opportuna’s sanctity was not expressed in charismatic actions during her lifetime; she performed no miracles during her lifetime.  She lived in a time where the Bishops were hostile to any such forms of expressions such as charismatic ascetics, healers, prophets or visionaries known as the Carolingian era.   The accounts of miracles worked at the site of Opportuna’s tomb, where present after her death.  She remained ever present in her former precincts, extending her protection to her flock forward in time.  Opportuna’s vita, records that once a peasant stole a donkey from the convent and refused to acknowledge his crime.  Opportuna turned the matter over to God, and the next day the farmer’s field was sown with salt.  The repentant peasant returned the donkey and gave the Nuns the field.  

Some legends tell us that Opportuna died from a brief illness which was compounded by grief from the death of her brother, Bishop Chrodegang, who had died on September 3, 769.  The Administrator he had entrusted his Diocese to while he was away for seven years to Rome planned his murder.  Opportuna foresaw her brother’s death in a prophetic vision, but was powerless to intervene.  She buried her brother in her own convent, and she herself died on April 22, 770.  According to sources, Vikings invaded both the convent at Montreuil and the Abbey at Almeneches, and they were destroyed.  Her relics were transferred to the priory of Moussy.  Some of her relics were enshrined in a small Church in Paris, near a hermitage called Notre Dame Des Bois Paris.   

Practical Take Away

St. Opportuna was a French Benedictine Nun.  She was the brother of Bishop Chrodegang, now a saint.  She became the Abbess of her Convent, and was known as a true mother to all her Nuns.  She didn’t work great miracles in her lifetime, but after death, many miracles were wrought at her tomb.  She extended her protection to the community and her Nuns, forward in time, beyond death.  She foresaw the murder of her brother Bishop Chrodegang, also a saint, but was unable to do anything to prevent it.