Christian Saints

St. Adelaide of Italy

St. Adelaide was the daughter of Ralph II. of Burgundy.  Her father died when she was six years old, and at sixteen she married Lothaire, King of Italy. Her husband did not live long; and after his death, Adelaide was imprisoned at Pavia, by Berengarius III. She escaped and fled towards Germany. She was met by the Emperor Otho I., who was marching with his army to release her. Otho made a treaty with Berengarius and married Alice. But the treaty was soon broken, when Otho sent Berengarius a prisoner to Germany, and he himself was crowned emperor at Rome.

Stained-glass windows at the church of Notre-Dame de la Compassion in Paris.

Adelaide made use of her rank and power to do good and educated her son Otho II. with carefulness. The emperor died after a reign of thirty-six years; and his son suffered himself to be influenced by evil advisers, and especially by his second wife, Theophania, so that he banished his good mother from the court. But being overtaken by misfortune, he recalled her and attempted to atone for his wicked cruelty. He died after a reign of nine years, and his wife, so long as she lived, insulted St. Adelaide by the most disrespectful treatment; but she soon died also, and Adelaide became regent. From this time, she devoted herself to good works and built many religious edifices. The people, who loved her, were guided by her into virtue and piety.

She died in 999 while staying in a convent which she had founded at Seltz.

Saint of the Day for December 16th.

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