Grandmother Saint Adelaide

Continuing with my notation of family ancestral saints celebrated in December, today commemorates St Adelaide.

Saint Adelaide (Adelheidis) of Italy [aka of Burgundy]       (931-16 Dec 999), generation 35 grandmother
Princess of Burgundy and Holy Roman Empress. Founder of monastic houses.
Adelaide’s father was King Rudolph II of Burgundy. Princess Adelaide was married-off by her father in a political union. She had a daughter in this marriage, but her husband was murdered by a political rival who wished Adelaide to marry his own son. When she refused, she was kidnapped and imprisoned.

Managing to escape, she went into hiding, and by her request was rescued by King Otto I of Germany who became her second husband. In 962, Pope John XII uniquely crowned the couple as co-rulers of the Holy Roman Empire. Her mother-in-law was Queen St. Matilda of East Francia.

St Adelaide and Otto’s son and then grandson eventually succeeded to the crown, with Adelaide serving as regent for four years during their grandson’s childhood.

During her reign Adelaide founded a number of abbeys, and following her regency, she retired to one for her remaining years.

Empress Saint Adelaide is often accounted the most prominent European woman of the 10th century.




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