The following is a translation of information found on
(mainly from the work cited there: Louis Ginckels,
previous community secretary of Oplinter, "Oplinter vroeger en nu",
1963). I want to thank Willy Van Esch for maintaining this
site and for his kind permission to use the texts.
A note of caution though:
a lot of this information is not available in Beatrice's Vita, and
some of it does not quite accord with De Ganck's story (cf. last page). On
this note I reproduce it
anyway, as I have (at present) no means of deciding between the sources.
Beatrice's father, Bartholomew of
Tienen, was born around 1150
from a simple family. He followed lessons in Leuven with Master Heribertus,
a nobleman. After completing his education, he left for the Holy Land,
where he fought under the walls of Jerusalem. Shortly after his return he
entered the profession of his father (who presumably was - judging by his
name: De Vleeschouwer - a butcher). Later he married Gertrudis, who
gave him two sons and four daughters, all of whom became religious (as we
saw: either lay or "semi-religious", or professed).
This source tells us that in 1215 Bartholomew paid for the founding of
the Abbey of Maagdendal, near Oplinter. I am not quite sure but it seems he bequeathed
some of his land holdings in Oplinter to the Order of Citeaux - also Arnold,
Lord of Wezenmaal and Oplinter, and Henry I, duke of Brabant seem to have
played a role. In any case, Bartholomew became the general leader of this community. He
lived a long life, died in 1247, when he was 97 years old.
Bartholomew was commemorated by the city of Tienen. In the main church the
city placed a window that depicts Bartholomew with his daughter, who each
carry a cloister, surrounded by local historical figures. As for Maagdendal:
by the Decree of the French Republic, of 6 December 1796,
the sisters were driven from their home. On 30 June 1798 the buildings were publicly
sold. Now there is still a large homestead on the site. The photograph below
(taken by Willy Van Esch) is of its entrance building.