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Adelaide of Vilich, St.


Abbess. b. Cologne, last half of the tenth century; d. Cologne, Feb. 5, probably 1015. She was the daughter of Count Megingoz of Gelder. At an early age, Adelaide (Adelheid) entered the convent of St. Ursula in Cologne, where the Rule of St. Jerome was observed. As first abbess of the convent founded by her parents in Vilich (Bellich or Willich, today Beuel, near Bonn), on the Rhine River, she introduced the Benedictine Rule, which she considered stricter than that of St. Jerome. It was said that she had her nuns learn Latin so that they might better understand the Divine Office. While remaining abbess of Vilich, Adelaide succeeded her sister Bertrada, after the latter's death, as abbess of St. Maria im Kapitol in Cologne. She was buried in Vilich, where her relics are preserved. Adelaide was the friend and adviser of Heribert, Archbishop of Cologne; and according to legend, she showed great prudence in providing for the poor during a severe famine.

Feast: Feb. 5.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum Feb. 1:719727. m. zimmermann, Kalendarium Benedictinum (Metten 193383) 1:170173. a. schÜtte, Handbuch der deutschen Heiligen (Cologne 1941) 2728. a. groeteken, Die l. Aebtissin Adelheid von Vilich (2d ed. Kevelaer, Ger. 1956). j. torsy, Lexicon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 195765) 1:142.

[m. f. mccarthy]

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