WELCOME TO

TABOR RETREAT CENTRE

EZHUMUTTOM (PO), THODUPUZHA, KERALA, INDIA, PIN CODE: 685 605

+91 9544767260, +91 9447824554, 04862–262167

+91 99 61 96 47 37

SAINT OF THE DAY

image

DEC
16

St. Adelaide

Born 931 Burgundy, France. Died 16 December 999 Seltz, Alsace

Born c. 931 in Burgandy, St. Adelaide married, at 15 or 16, Lothair of Italy to whom her father had engaged her when she was two. When Lothair died three years later, his successor and usurper Berengar of Ivrea imprisoned Adelaide and attempted to force her to marry his son. Legends tell of Adelaide's escape to Canossa, where she appealed to Otto of Germany for help. He conquered Italy and married her in 951. John XII crowned the pair rulers of the Holy Roman Empire the following year. After Otto's death in 973, Adelaide quarrelled with Otto II, possibly at the instigation of her daughter-in-law, Theophano, and lived with her brother in Burgandy. She established many monasteries and churches; she also became interested in evangelism. She and her son reconciled before his death in 983, and she became regent for her grandson, Otto III. Adelaide died in 999 at the convert at Seltz, which she had founded. Cluny became the center of her cult. She was canonized in 1097.

Born in Orbe, today in Switzerland, she was the daughter of Rudolf II of Burgundy, a member of the Elder House of Welf, and Bertha of Swabia. Her first marriage, at the age of fifteen, was to the son of her father's rival in Italy, Lothair II, the nominal King of Italy; the union was part of a political settlement designed to conclude a peace between her father and Hugh of Provence, the father of Lothair. They had a daughter, Emma of Italy.

The Calendar of Saints states that her first husband was poisoned by the holder of real power, his successor, Berengar of Ivrea, who attempted to cement his political power by forcing her to marry his son, Adalbert; when she refused and fled, she was tracked down and imprisoned for four months at Como.

According to Adelheid's contemporary biographer, Odilo of Cluny, she managed to escape from captivity. After a time spent in the marshes nearby, she was rescued and taken to a "certain impregnable fortress," likely the fortified town of Canossa near Reggio.She managed to send an emissary to throw herself on the mercy of Otto the Great. His brothers were equally willing to save the dowager queen, but Otto got an army into the field. The widow met her rescuer at the old Lombard capital of Pavia and they married in 951. They had four children, as discussed below. Pope John XII crowned Otto Holy Roman Emperor in Rome on February 2, 962, and, breaking tradition, also crowned Adelheid as Holy Roman Empress.

In Germany, the crushing of a revolt in 953 by Liudolf, Otto's son by his first marriage, cemented Adelheid's position, for she retained all her dower lands. She and their eleven-year old son, the crown prince who became Otto II, accompanied Otto in 966 on his third expedition to Italy, where Otto restored the newly elected Pope John XIII to his throne (and executed some of the Roman rioters who had deposed him). Adelheid remained in Rome for six years while Otto ruled his kingdom from Italy. Their son Otto II was crowned co-emperor in 967, then married the Byzantine princess Theophanu in April 972, resolving the conflict between the two empires in southern Italy, as well as ensuring the imperial succession. Adelheid and her husband then returned to Germany, where Otto died in May 973, at the same Memleben palace where his father had died 37 years earlier.