Who Is the Catholic Saint Amanda?

There is no Saint Amanda among the Catholics. However, the Catholic Saint Amand is a missionary born in lower Poitou around the year 584. He joined monastery at the age of 20, a move that caused his father to threaten to disown him. Ordained at Tours, he later served for 15 years under the tutelage of Bishop St. Austregisilus.

Amand returned to France after a Pilgrimage to Rome, and become a bishop in 629. He was commissioned to teach Christianity to the heathens. While in France, he was banished for speaking against crimes of King Dagobert I. Dagobert later recalled him and requested him to baptize his child Sigerbert, who later became King and saint. He preached to hostile populations in Ghent, where he was sometimes beaten.

St. Amand is tied to the establishment monasticism in ancient Belgium, with many monasteries claiming he founded them. He started houses at Elnone, close to Tournai, his later headquarters. It is reported he was made bishop of Maestricht in 646, but stepped down after three years.

He retired to Elnone at old age, where he governed as Abbot for four years. Arguably one of the most imposing personalities of the Merovingian epoch, St. Amand died shortly after 676.