Sunday, March 14, 2010
St. Matilda of Ringelheim
Matilda was a descendant of the famous Widukind, captain of the Saxons in their long struggle against Charlemagne, as the daughter of Dietrich, Count of Westphalia and Reinhild, scion of the royal house of Denmark. When the baby was born in the year 895, was entrusted to the care of his paternal grandmother, the abbess of the convent Erfut. There, without straying far from home, Matilda was educated and grew into a young girl who surpassed their peers in beauty, piety, and science, it is said. In due course, married Henry, son of Duke Otto of Saxony, who was called "the hunter". The marriage was exceptionally happy and Matilda on her husband exerted a moderate, yet uplifting influence. Just after the birth of his son, Otto, three years of marriage, Henry succeeded his father in the duchy. More or less at the beginning of the year 919, King Conrad died without descendants, and the Duke was elevated to the throne of Germany. There is no doubt that his experience of brave and skilful soldier found it very useful, since his life was a constant struggle in which he often succeeded remarkably.
Henry himself and his subjects attributed their success, both to the prayers of the Queen, and their own efforts. This continued to live in humility which had distinguished child. In his courtiers and their servants, the more it seemed like a loving mother to his queen and mistress, none of those who came to her for help he was disappointed. Her husband rarely asked their alms or accounts was enraged by her pious practices, with the absolute certainty of his goodness and trusting her fully. After twenty years of marriage, King Henry died of apoplexy, at 936. When they told her that her husband had died, the Queen was at church and there he sat, pouring his soul at the altar in a fervent prayer for him. He then asked a priest to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the repose of the king and taking off the jewelry she wore them down on the altar as a pledge renouncing, from that moment, the pomp of the world.
They had five children: Otto, later Emperor Henry Tough, San Bruno, later Archbishop of Cologne; Gerberga who married Louis IV, King of France and Hedwig, the mother of Hugh Capet. Although the king had expressed his wish that his eldest son, Otto, succeeded him on the throne, Matilda favored his son Henry and nobles persuaded to vote for him, however, Otto was elected and crowned . Henry did not accept willingly give up their claims and initiated a rebellion against his brother, but was defeated and sued for peace. Otto forgave him and, through the intercession of Matilda, was appointed Duke of Bavaria. The queen then took her from a life of complete self-sacrifice, her jewelry had been sold to help the poor and was as generous in his gifts, which gave rise to criticism and blame. His son Otto was accused of having hidden a treasure, and ill spend the proceeds from its crown, was required to give an account of what had spent and sent spies to monitor their movements and register their donations.
His bitter suffering was the discovery that Henry instigated and helped his brother against her. He endured all with unwavering patience, noting with a touch of pathetic humor, which at least comforting to see that their children were united, if only to pursue it. "Gladly endure all that they can make, provided they do so without sin, if this will remain united," he would say, as stated.
To please them, Matilda gave up his inheritance for his children and retreated to the country home where I was born. But shortly after his departure, Duke Henry fell ill and began to rain on the state disaster. The general feeling was that such misfortunes were due to treatment that the princes had given his mother, Edith, Otto's wife convinced him to go and ask his forgiveness and give back all that they had taken. Without being asked, Matilde pardoned and returned to court, where he resumed his work of mercy. But though Henry had ceased to importune, his behavior continued causing him great distress. The newly turned against Otto and then punished a revolt of his own subjects in Bavaria with incredible cruelty, not even the bishops escaped his wrath.
In 955, when Matilda was last seen, he prophesied his coming death and urged him to repent, before it was too late. Indeed, soon after, Henry died and the news caused a deep pain in the queen.
Undertook the construction of a convent at Nordhausen, made further foundations in Quedlinburg, in Engern Poehler and also where he established a monastery for men. It is clear that Otto never again suffer because her mother's income spent on religious works, for when he went to Rome to be crowned emperor, left the kingdom by Matilde.
The last time that Matilda took part in a family meeting was in Cologne at Easter of 965, were with her when Emperor Otto the Great ", his other children and grandchildren. After this comeback, virtually retired from the world, spending time in either of its foundations, especially in Nodhausen. He was about to address certain urgent matters that the claimed in Quedlinburg, worsened a fever that had been suffering for some time and knew that would soon reach its last moment. Richburg sent for the maid who had helped her in her charities and was abbess at Nordhausen. According to tradition, the Queen proceeded to do a deed of donation for all he had in his room, until there was nothing but the canvas of his shroud. "Give it to Bishop William of Mainz (who was his grandson). The first thing I will need it." Indeed, the bishop died suddenly, twelve days before it occurred the death of his grandmother, who died on March 14, 968. Matilda's body was buried along with her husband, in Quedlinburg, where she was venerated as a saint since the time of his death.
Father may Queen Matilda help
us love you and the Blessed
Virgin Mary. So we all can be
Saints like her.