Zuster Bertken

Sister Bertken

an almost forgotten mysterious woman

at Home2b.nl


Beschrijving: image003


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Sister Bertken

from Utrecht


Sister Bertken is a remarkable spiritual figure in the history

of the Netherlands and certainly in the history

of medieval Utrecht.


When she died in 1514 she was seen by the citizens

of Utrecht as a very holy person.

The bells of the Domtower were sounding twice to honor her

as one of the greatest saints

on the day she died,June 25 1514.

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She lived in a cell of about 3 by 3 meters

according to the rules of enclosed people.

She was not allowed to leave her little room.

She had to pay for the building of her enclosure herself

(which she did)

and by handywork she had to provide for her own living,

which she did very successfully,

because what she earned more the she needed

she handed out to the many poor who consulted her.

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In her enclosure the dimensions came together

because she had visions and prophecies.

For her the dimensions were opening wide.

It seems there is a book with visions of Sister Bertken,

but Robert could not trace a copy of it until now.

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Many people came to her little window to ask for advice

and to ask for her visions.

She was a living saint.


On the inside of the Buurkerk (Buurchurch)

she could see and hear the proceedings

in the ancient church.

This church was a "Noodgods" church

where the triad Anna, Mary and the dead adult Jesus

was venerated by many pilgrims.


The Noodgods veneration was in many places destroyed

between the years 1450 and 1550

by the Roman Catholic church itself

even before the Reformation took over.


May be this Noodgods aspect is the reason, why Sister Bertken

is not talked about or recognized as a saint.

The Noodgods is ofcourse recognisable as the two sisters

Isis and Nephtys moarning the dead of their

brother Osiris (Asar).



Beschrijving: Zuster%20Bertken%20300%20dpi%20def

Sister Bertken in her cell.

An old token of her activity.


Sister Bertken was born in 1426 and her name

was Berta Jacobsdochter.

She stayed in her cell for 57 years

from 1457 until her death in 1514.

Beschrijving: grafsteen zuster bertken utrecht

The gravestone of sister Bertken in the busy shopping mall Choirstreet.

Thousands of people step upon her gravestone

without even knowing that very probably

the grave of Sister Bertken is still somewhere in this street.

The copper square on the map of the church

indicates where her little stone cell was.

The church is partly broken down.

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Already in 1539 the cellar of Sister Bertken

was destroyed by the Roman Catholic church

and her grave was replaced.

In 1579 the People of the Reformation took over

and destroyed her grave totally.

The Buurchurch was partly broken down

(the altar part of the church)

and transformed into the Choirstreet,

today a very busy mall in the center of Utrecht.

Beschrijving: image004

Original words of Sister Bertken

Ik was in mijn hoofken om kruud gegaan

Ik was in mijn hoofkijn om kruud gegaan,
Ik en vand er niet dan distel ende doorn staan.


(In my head I was searching for healthy herbs,

but all I found was thistle and thorns).


Den distel ende den doorn die wierp ik uut,
Ik zoude gaarne planten ander kruud.


(The thistle and the thorns I threw out

because I would like to plant another herb).


Nu heb ik een gevonden, die gaarden kan;
Hi wil die zorge gaarne nemen an.


Een boom was hoog gewassen in korten tijd,
Dien vond ik uter aarden gebrengen niet.


Dat hinder van den bome merkte hi waal,
Hi toog ‘m uter aarden altemaal.


Nu moet ik hem wezen onderdaan,
Oft hi en wil dat gaarden niet bestaan.


Mijn hoofken moet ik więn tot alre tijd,
Nochtans en kan ik ‘s klaar gehouden niet.


Hierin zo moet ik zaaien leliënzaad,
Dit moet ik vroeg beginnen in der dageraad.


Als hi daarop laat dauwen, die minre mijn,
Zo zal dit zaaiken schier bekleven zijn.


Die leliën ziet hi gaarne, die minre mijn,
Als zi te rechte bloeien ende zuver zijn.


Als die rode rozen daaronder staan,
Zo laat hij zinen zoete dauw daarover gaan.


Als hi daarop laat schinen der zonnen schijn,
Zo verbliden alle die krachten der zielen mijn.


Jezus is zijn name, die minre mijn!
Ik wil hem eeuwelijk dienen en zijn eigen zijn.


(Jesus is his name, my lover mine!

I will serve him for ever and be his).


Zijn min heeft mi gegeven zo hogen moed,
Dat ik niet meer en achte dit aardse goed.


(His love has given me so much courage,

that I don't pay attention to these worldly goods).


Zuster Bertken


Beschrijving: image004


We got several e-mails from Eastern Europe

with the question whether Sister Bertken

really existed. Because the same kind of story

goes around in the folklore.

In this case it is absolutely sure that

Sister Bertkens existed.

Beschrijving: bdbar7a

You may e-mail:

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Beschrijving: sunline2



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