De Gulden Maene

The birth house of Jan Berchmans dates from 1518. The Diest saint was born there on 13 March 1599. The present facade in white stone was constructed in 1850. In 1872, an image of the saint was placed in the niche above the door. The white stone bell cage with bell (1932) crowns the facade. The following text is displayed over the entire width of the facade: ‘Stille woon waar weleer Joannes Berchmans zijne heilige kinderjaren sleet’ (silent house where John Berchmans spent his holy childhood in olden times).

The birth house was converted into a chapel in the nineteenth century. It offers an explanation of all the important facts relating to the saint's life. In 1981, a 'silent room', inviting people to pray and reflect, was set up on the ground floor in the room behind the staircase. John Berchmans was canonized in 1888. He is the patron saint of young students.