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Saint Adelaide of Burgandy

Saint Adelaide was the daughter of Rudolf II of Burgundy, a member of the Elder House of Welf and was born in Orbe Castle (at the time Upper Burgundy, but now modern day Switzerland). After Berengar I fought against (and lost) her father for the throne of northern Italy, her father became the king, albeit with a unhappy populance. When he died, the people asked for Hugh of Provence to step in and he had Saint Adelaide married off to his son Lothair II, king of Italy, when she was only 15.

On November 22, 950 AD, Lothair II was poisoned and killed, with groups of townspeople initially pointing the finger at Saint Adelaide. Berengar II stepped in and attempted to have the newly widowed Saint Adelaide married to his son as a political play, but she initially was able to escape to the local country side. She appealed to King Otto of Germany for help and received it - not only did he invite Italy, he married her to cement the thrown in 951 AD. With this marriage, Pope John XII crowned them the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire. When Otto died in 973, she was often in argument with their son Otto II.

When Otto II was old enough to assume the throw, she resigned as regent and devoted herself completely to charity and restoring religious houses, monasteries, churches and abbeys. She also began to found the same religious institutions, and eventually retired to a nunnery she founded at Selz. It was here at Selz Abbey that she died, on December 16 999 AD. Just days shy of the new year, she had hoped the 1000 AD mark would see the Second Coming of Christ.

Pope Urban II canonized her formally in 1097.

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