It is a well-known fact in Belgium -- Saint Waltrude is the patron saint of Mons. What self-respecting Belgian has never heard of the Golden Carriage Procession which goes through the city during the famous Ducasse festivities? It is a less well-known fact, but Waltrude is also the patron saint of Frameries and, as is the case in Mons, the inhabitants worship her boundlessly.
Here is a little historical background. A little more than 1,400 years ago, Waltrude founded the “Castrilocus” convent on the hill which was to go on to become Mons. In 1349 when the plague ravaged the town, the people of Mons prayed to their patron saint that the plague would be no more. Their prayers were answered. Since then, every year on the weekend following Ascension Thursday the people of Mons go through the town with the relics of the Saint, in front of a jubilant crowd. People from Frameries take part in the parade which features the famous Golden Carriage, and they are very proud of doing so. And with good reason, since Waltrude is also their patron saint!
In the 7th Century, the Frameries estate belonged to Walbert, the father of Waltrude. The estate was Waltrude’s dowry and it became the property of the Monastery of Mons. Thus, every Ascension Thursday, before the great procession in Mons, Frameries also celebrates its patron saint, as is only natural. The festivities begin with a solemn mass at the Church of Saint Waltrude and there then follows a large procession through the town which ends on Grand-Place. As in Mons, the event is a friendly one and brings together the inhabitants of Frameries and people from nearby together for a day.
But in Frameries, saints come in twos! And the next one was Waltrude’s sister, Saint Aldegonde. She also founded an illustrious monastery, in Maubeuge, the lands and properties of which stretched all the way to Noirchain, which is now part of Frameries. After she has taken part, along with her sister Waltrude, in the processions in Frameries and Mons, Saint Aldegonde returns to Noirchain in time for the first weekend of August, which is when the bric-à-brac sale takes place. She parades through the village and protects its inhabitants, in a family-oriented and friendly atmosphere.
A buzzing town!
Above and beyond the history of these two emblematic figures who forever marked the history of the municipality, these events serve as a reminder to us of how much Frameries and its inhabitants love to get together and to have a party. In Frameries, everything is a good excuse to have a get-together! Don’t miss the Foire aux Fleurs (flower fair), which is held on the 1st of May. From 7am to 6pm, Grand’Rue is bedecked in all types of flowers and shrubs so that each one of us can beautify our gardens. We should also note the brilliant bric-à-brac sale in Eugies, the annual sports exhibition and also the nationally-renowned Happy New Year Trophy races which bring together more than 1,000 runners over the Christmas/New Year period.