Meaning: "Beloved of God"
Other forms: Godelieve, Godeleva, Godelina
Thanks to KW cash for requesting Godeliva! This heavy, ancient name is the feminine form of the Germanic Goteleib, which comes from god, "God", and leub, "dear, beloved". If I was going to suggest a pronunciation it would be "go-dih-LEE-vah", but I have no idea if that's correct. Saint Godeliva, more commonly known as Godelina or Godelieve, was a Flemish woman from the 11th century. She was said to be very beautiful, and also pious, and was a sought after bride by many men, but she dreamed of becoming a nun. A man Bertolf of Gistel would not accept this, and was absolutely determined to marry her. Using the power of the suzerain Eustace II, Count of Boulogne, he forced her into marriage. She was imprisoned by her mother-in-law in a small cell and the little food she was given she gave to the poor. Godeliva was able to escape, but was taken back to Bertolf, who promised to restore her in her rightful position as his wife. Not long after she returned, Bertolf ordered two of his servants to strangle her, and then throw her into a pool. It was made to look as if there was no foul play.
Bertolf married again, and had a daughter who was born blind. Through Saint Godeliva, she was cured, and Bertolf repented, got absolution in Rome, and became a monk, while his daughter became a nun and established a Benedictine monastery in honor of Saint Godeliva. Godeliva is a Saint associated with the weather, and is prayed to in times of throat trouble. Every year on July 5th, a procession in the name of Godeliva is held in Gistel. The day after that is her feast day.