St. Adelaide, Queen | Saint of the Day | December 16

Prayer to St. Adelaide, Queen

God, You gladden us each year by the feast of St. Adelaide. Grant that as we honor her in such festivities we may also imitate her example in our conduct. Amen.

Patroness of Prisoners and Queens

Born in 931 to a noble family of Burgundy, Adelaide was married at the age of sixteen to King Lothair of Italy. She was widowed after three years and suffered much at the hands of Berengarius II of Friuli who had taken over the kingdom. Liberated by King Otto the Great of Germany. The Saint married him and bore him three sons, one of whom was the future Otto II.

St. Adelaide possessed great intellectual gifts and took part in the affairs of state. In 962, she and her husband were crowned by Pope John XII. After her husband’s death in 973 the Saint experienced a particularly difficult time because of the problems that arose between her and her son Otto II and his wife. From 983, and especially 991, onward she ruled in place of her minor grandson Otto III, showing rare prudence and understanding.

This saintly woman had a great love for the poor and interested herself in the reform of Cluny brought about by St. Majolus and Odilo. She built monasteries and churches and granted benefices to all who were worthy of them. Toward the end of her full life, St. Adelaide retired to a Benedictine monastery that she had founded near Strasbourgh and prepared herself for a holy death, which took place on December 16, 999.