A Handbook of Christian Symbols: Saint Adelaide

Saint Adelaide, or Alice, of Germany was the daughter of Ralph II of Burgundy. Her father died when she was six years old, and at sixteen she married Lothaire, King of Italy. Her husband did not live long; and after his death Adelaide was imprisoned at Pavia, by Berengarius III. She at length escaped, and fled towards Germany. She was met by the Emperor Otho I, who was marching with his army to release her. Otho made a treaty with Berengarius, and married Alice. But the treaty was soon broken when Otho sent Berengarius a prisoner to Germany, and he himself was crowned emperor at Rome. Adelaide made use of her rank and power to do good, and educated her son Otho II with great care. The emperor died after a reign of thirty-six years. His son suffered himself to be influenced by evil advisers, and especially by his second wife, Theophania, so that he banished his good mother from the court. But being overtaken by misfortune, he recalled her and attempted to atone for his wicked cruelty. He died after a reign of nine years, and his wife, so long as she lived, insulted Saint Adelaide by the most disrespectful treatment; but she soon died also, and Adelaide became regent. From this time she devoted herself to good works, and built many religious edifices. The people, who loved her, were guided by her into virtue and piety. She died at Salcis, when on a journey. A part of her relics are preserved in a shrine in Hanover. December 16, 999.