Saint Matilda of Ringelheim


Saint Matilda was the daughter of Reinhild and Count Dietrich and was born around 892 AD. As a child she grew up with her grandmother Mathilde in Herford Abbey. She had three sisters, the most prominent was Fridarun who married the king of West Francia, King Charles III. In 909 AD, Saint Matilda married Henry, Duke of Saxony and the future king of East Frankia. Together they had five children - Otto (who would be crowned the Holy Roman Emperor in 962, Henry (Appointed Duke of Bavaria in 948), Bruno (elected Archbishop of Cologne in 953), Hedwig (who married the West Frankish duke Hugh the Great) and Gerberga (who married Gilbert the Duke of Lorriane first, then married to King Louis IV of France).


Saint Matilda began taking a very active role in the many convents and monasteries spread across her husband's land. When Henry died in 936, Saint Matilda formed a convent in the town of Quedlinburg. This Abbey soon became the most important center of prayer in the East-Franconian Empire. A argument soon broke out though between Saint Matilda and Otto I - Otto believed the dowry she had received from Henry prior to his death belonged to him and not to Saint Matilda. The argument was settled through the intercession of Otto's wife, Queen Eadgyth, but not before Saint Matilda had to send a small amount of time in exile, fearing for her life over the fight. After a long illness, Saint Matilda died as Queen on March 14th, 968 AD at the convent in Quedlinburg. She was buried next to her husband. Because of her devotion to the many monasteries and convents and active role she took in maintaining their spiritual health, she is honored as the patron of the Saint Mathilde church in Laatzen, Saint Mathilde church in Quedlinburg, the Melkite church in Apello and the Mathilden Hospital in Herford Germany. Her feast day is celebrated on march 14th.

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