Saint Itta of Metz
Itta of Metz, O.S.B. (also Ida, Itte or Iduberga; 592–8 May 652) was the wife of Pepin of Landen, Mayor of the Palace of the Kingdom of Austrasia. After his death, she founded the Abbey of Nivelles, where she became a Colombanian nun along with her daughter, Gertrude of Nivelles. Both are honored as saints by the Catholic Church.
There is no direct record of her parents, but it has been suggested that she came from a family of senatorial status which had originated in Aquitaine, and was a daughter of Arnoald, Bishop of Metz, son of Ansbertus. Her brother was Saint Modoald, Bishop of Trier, and her sister was the abbess, Saint Severa.
She married Pepin of Landen, Mayor of the Merovingian Royal Palace. After Pepin’s death in 640, Itta and her daughter, Gertrude, withdrew from the capital for a life of religious reflection. Later, around 647, on the advice of Amandus, the Bishop of Maastricht, she founded the Abbey of Nivelles. The abbey was originally just a community of nuns, but it later became a double monastery when the nuns were joined by a group of Irish monks who offered them support in the operations of the abbey. She might have appointed her daughter, Gertrude, as its first abbess, while she herself lived there as a simple nun, assisting the young abbess by her advice.
Itta died at the abbey on 8 May 652.
Itta had another daughter by Pepin, Abbess Begga of Andenne, who had married Ansegisel, son of Arnulf of Metz prior to joining the monastery. By Begga, she is the grandmother of Pepin of Herstal and one of the matriarchs of the great Carolingian family.
Her sons were Grimoald, later Mayor of the Palace, and father of King Childebert the Adopted; Itta’s second son Bavo (or Allowin), became a hermit and was later canonized. Both her daughters were also canonized, as was she. Her feast day is celebrated on 8 May.
Itta is honored as the patron saint of the French village of Itteville, which was founded on the site of a farm which she had established.