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Saint of the Day December 16: St. Adelaide

St. Adelaide: The Life and Legacy of the Holy Queen and Patroness of Peace


St. Adelaide




931, Burgundy


December 16, 999, Seltz, France


16 December


1097, Rome, Pope Urban II



O God, the fortress and crown of Your saints, grant that we too, following the example of St. Adelaide, noble lover of the Lord, may honor and imitate the glorious witnesses of our faith. Grant, O Lord, that following the example of St. Adelaide we may love Your word, revealed in the Bible, and meditate on it assiduously in order to know Your will and attain salvation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Roman Martyrology

At Selz near Strasbourg in Lotharingia, in present-day France, St. Adelaide, empress, who showed sober playfulness toward family members, decorous composure with strangers, tireless piety toward the poor, and munificent generosity in honoring God’s churches.

The Saint and Mission

St. Adelaide, a historical figure who played a significant role in 10th-century Europe as queen and empress, is an example of how Christian mission can be lived out through leadership and political influence. Her life, marked by moments of power and suffering, illustrates a mission steeped in faith, resilience and dedication to the service of others.

St. Adelaide’s mission manifested itself in several ways. First, she used her position of power to promote peace and stability in the kingdom. At a time marked by conflict and division, her commitment to reconciliation and harmony was a tangible reflection of her Christian faith. Adelaide sought to resolve disputes justly and mercifully, showing a balanced and compassionate approach in her leadership role.

Second, her dedication to the Church and the promotion of religious life was a key aspect of her mission. Adelaide supported the building of churches and monasteries, thus contributing to the spread of the Christian faith and the promotion of monastic life. This commitment reflected her belief in the central role of the Church in society and her desire to promote Christian values through her support and patronage.

In addition, St. Adelaide demonstrated remarkable resilience and fortitude in the face of personal adversity, including exile and imprisonment. Her ability to endure these trials with faith and dignity was a testimony to her Christian commitment and trust in God. Her resilience and ability to forgive those who had offended her demonstrate a deep understanding of the Christian mission as a path of faith, patience and forgiveness.

St. Adelaide’s life provides an example of how Christian mission can be lived out in contexts of power and influence. Her story teaches us that leadership and authority can be exercised in ways that reflect Christian values of justice, peace and service, and that faith can provide strength and guidance even in life’s most difficult moments.

The Saint and Mercy

St. Adelaide, queen of the Western Roman Empire in the 10th century, is a historical figure who offers a unique perspective on mercy in the context of Christian leadership. Her life, marked by times of trial and suffering as well as periods of power and influence, reflects a deep sense of mercy and justice, both in her personal and public roles.

A key aspect of mercy in St. Adelaide’s life is her commitment to justice and the welfare of her people. As queen and empress, she was uniquely positioned to influence policies and decisions that directly impacted the lives of her subjects. Adelaide used her position to promote peace and to intervene on behalf of the weakest and most vulnerable, showing particular concern for the needs of the poor and marginalized.

In addition, St. Adelaide was noted for her resilience and ability to face adversity with grace and courage. After being imprisoned and forced into exile, she showed remarkable forgiveness toward those who had mistreated her, exemplifying Christian mercy in forgiving one’s enemies and seeking reconciliation rather than revenge.

Her personal devotion and commitment to faith were also central to her expression of mercy. Adelaide devoted herself to works of charity and support of the Church, helping to build monasteries and promote religious life. These actions reflected her understanding of mercy as a central aspect of Christian life, not only in terms of material assistance, but also in spiritual and moral support.

St. Adelaide’s life is an example of how mercy can be lived out in different roles and circumstances, from political leadership to personal life. Her story reminds us that mercy is a fundamental aspect of the Christian life, calling for active engagement in promoting justice, forgiving others, and supporting both people’s material and spiritual needs.


“It is the duty of the rich to use mercy toward the poor.” She often repeated this maxim, and especially endeavored to translate it into practice, Adelaide of Burgundy, wife of Otto I and empress.

Born in 931, from an early age Adelaide found herself an important pawn in European politics. A woman of high intellectual gifts, she demonstrated innate political ability and…


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