Spirituality for Today – Winter 2017/2018 – Volume 22, Issue 2

Saint for February
St. Adelaide of Vilich – February 5

Adelaide, or Adelheid, was born around 960. Her father, German County Megengose of Guelder, was most likely responsible for preparing his daughter for a life dedicated to serving Christ. The count established the convent of Vilich, located on the Rhine River near Cologne, and also St. Mary's in the city itself. Adelaide became abbess of both convents in her lifetime.

Adelaide was about 40 years old when she introduced the Rule of St. Benedict to the convent at Vilich. The Rule was based on the belief that prayer, hard work, fasting and service to the community were the basis of serving God. Adelaide was so venerated for bringing this Rule to her Order that she is most often pictured with a book representing the Rule of St. Benedict.

The pious abbess became a respected adviser to the Church in both the religious and political arenas. Heribert, the archbishop of Cologne and Imperial Chancellor, held her in such high regard he consulted with her about events in the diocese as well as political issues of the day.

Adelaide was a great leader as well as adviser. She felt it was important that her nuns be fluent in Latin so they could follow the choir offices properly, so she taught them the language. She was also praised for having made heroic efforts to help those living in poverty during a famine.

Buried in Vilich, Adelaide is still invoked against eye problems, probably because a healing spring flowed at the place where her tomb once stood. Her cult was finally confirmed in 1966.

Dear Lord,
Father Almighty,
St. Adelaide was a gift listener
and adviser.
Please allow me to give the same attention
to those around me who seek my advice.
Let me counsel with wisdom
and direct others with compassion.
Give me the strength to guide others
with sincerity and patience.


For Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary People.