Old Calendar: St. Eusebius, bishop and martyr; St. Adelaide, queen of Italy (Hist)
We are the blind offspring of the children of pitiful Eve
Bringing with us the shadows born of an age-old error.
But when God deigned to assume the mortal form
Of a human nature, then came forth from the Virgin
A world of salvation.... --Carmen 4, Sedulius
St. Adelaide was a truly remarkable woman. She was the daughter of the king of Burgundy, and was married to the son of the ruler of Provence as a means of ending a feud. When her husband was murdered by a rival prince, she was shut up in captivity until freed by Otto I, who became Holy Roman Emperor and Adelaide, his Empress. She ruled with her husband until his death, at which time her jealous daughter-in-law had her banished from the court twice! Yet she remained steadfast and faithful, known for her liberality in giving and her piety; and eventually she was restored to court as the regent for her grandson Otto III. She was active in the reforms of the great abbey at Cluny, and reposed in 999. Despite her exalted status, she was a wife and mother, and lived both hard times and good, always faithful to her Lord, and always ready to give generously to those in need. She never took revenge on her political enemies once she gained the regency and it was said that her court was much like a monastery itself in its piety. She is a reminder to me that regardless of how much or how little I may have, my work remains the same.
Today is Day One of the Christmas Novena