Bilhild, St.

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Abbess, foundress of Altmünster near Mainz; fl. early eighth century. She is listed in a Fulda calendar of the ninth century, but details of her life are known only through legends written down in the twelfth century. These have her born of noble parents at Veitshöchheim near Würzburg (probably confused with Hocheim near Mainz) and married at age 17 to Hetan I, duke of Thuringia. During a war in which he died, she fled to her uncle, Bp. Rigibert of Mainz, became a nun, and founded the cloister, which in the twelfth century possessed property at Veitshöchheim and Hettstadt.

Feast: Nov. 27.

Bibliography: j. mabillon, Annales ordinis s. Benedicti, 6v. (2d ed. Lucca 173945) 2:90. g. karch, Die Legende der hl. Bilhildis (Würzburg 1869). m. stimming, "Die heilige B.," Mitteilungen des Instituts für österreichische Geschichtsforschung 37 (1917) 234255, with text of a falsified foundation charter from the twelfth century. j. braun, Tracht und Attribute der Heiligen in der deutschen Kunst (Stuttgart 1943).

[w. e. wilkie]