2007 Archive Edition - See the Archive Notice on the Project Homepage for more information.
Gerlac of Holland
A knight of Valkenburg in the Limbourgh province of the Netherlands, St. Gerlac reformed his life after the untimely death of his wife. He disposed of his estates and travelled to Rome, where Eugene III approved his penance of spending seven years serving the poor and ailing in the Holy Land. After his time in Jerusalem, Gerlac returned to his native land and became a hermit near the estate in Valkenburg he had renounced. He lived in a hollow tree. Villagers suspected that he had gold hoarded in the oak, and neighboring monks quarreled with him when he refused to join them. They are said to have refused him the sacraments when he was dying because his behavior scandalized them. He was not formally canonized after his death c. 1170, although he was greatly honored locally.
Goswin IV of Heinsberg-Valkenburg established a church and hospital in his honor c. 1200, and a convent for Premonstratensian nuns was built over his tomb. The community was dissolved in 1785.
Karen Rae Keck
including the header and this copyright remain intact.