St Matilda (March 14)


From the martyrology:

"At Halberstadt in Germany, the death of blessed Queen Matilda, mother of Emperor Otto I, renowned for humility and patience."

Saint Matilda (877 – 968) was the wife of King Henry I of Germany, the first ruler of the Saxon Ottonian dynasty and Queen from 919 until 936.   Her eldest son Otto succeeded his father as German King and was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 962.

After her husband died Matilda established Quedlinburg Abbey in his memory, a convent of noble canonesses, where in 966 her granddaughter Matilda became the first abbess.  Renowned for her devotion to prayer and almsgiving, she at first remained at court after the death of her husband, but her charitable activities led to accusations that she was weakening the royal treasury unduly.  After a brief exile at her Westphalian manors at Enger, where she established a college of canons in 947, Matilda was brought back to court at the urging of King Otto's first wife, the Anglo-Saxon princess Edith of Wessex.
Matilda died at Quedlinburg, having outlived her husband by 32 years.

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