Mathilde, daughter of Reinhild and the Saxon Count Dietrich was born around 892 and was raised by her grandmother Mathilde in Herford Abbey. She had three sisters; Amalrada, Bia, and Fridarun, who married Charles III of West Francia, king of West Francia; and a brother Beuve II, the Bishop of Châlons-sur-Marne.

In 909, she married Henry, at the time Duke of Saxony and later East-Franconian king. From this union, she gave birth to five children: Otto, Henry, Bruno, Hedwig, and Gerberga, Although all of her children were born into nobility, and brandished many titles; the greatest accomplishment of her eldest son Otto I was being crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 962 thus restoring the Holy Roman Empire.

As the first Ottonian queen, Mathilde took an interest in women’s monasteries and is said to have had an influence on her husband’s reign by having a strong sense of justice.

After Henry’s death in 936 in Memleben, he was buried in Quedlinburg, where Queen Mathilde founded a convent that same year. She lived there the following years and took care of the family’s memorialization. Thus Quedlinburg Abbey became the most important center of prayer and commemoration of the dead in the East-Franconian Empire. Like in other convents, daughters of noble families were raised in Quedlinburg, to later become Abbesses in order to secure their family’s influence. One of them was her granddaughter Matilda, daughter of Otto I and Adelheid of Burgundy, to whom she passed on the conducting of the convent in 966, after 30 years of leadership. The younger Mathilde, therefore, became the first abbess of the convent in Quedlinburg. With her other goods, Queen Mathilde founded further convents, one of them in 947 in Enger. Her last foundation was the convent of Nordhausen in 961.

After a long illness, Queen Mathilde died on 14 March 968, in the convent of Quedlinburg. She was buried in Quedlinburg Abbey, next to her late husband. Throughout her life, Mathilde was dedicated to charity and her spiritual foundations- as expressed several times in her two hagiographies. A commemorative plaque dedicated to her can be found in the Walhalla Memorial near Regensburg, Germany. Mathilde is the patron of the St. Mathilde church in Laatzen (Germany), the St. Mathilde church in Quedlinburg (Germany), the Melkite church in Aleppo (Syria), and the Mathilden-Hospital in Herford (Germany). Her feast day is 14 March.

References

Accessed Wikipedia.org 14 March 2022.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

1528 Basel passed a law that all Taufer (Anabaptists, etc) not forsaking their errors be fined £5 and those giving them aid likewise.

1661William Leddra of Barbados became the last Quaker executed for his faith in Boston.

1858 John Mason Peck died at Rock Spring, Kentucky, having worn himself out as a frontier circuit rider and Baptist educator.

1872 – The infamous pair missionary David Livingstone and news reporter Henry Stanley parted ways after four months in the Africa interior. Livingstone died a year later with Stanley soon following.

1937 – An encyclical letter issued by Pope Pius XI warns Germans against the cult of blood and myths. It is written in German instead of the usual Latin to ensure that it is widely understood.

Accessed ChristianHistoryInstitute.org and Rhemalogy.com 14 March 2022.

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