Ulfhild (fl. 1112)

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Ulfhild (fl. 1112)

Queen of Sweden and Denmark. Name variations: Ulvhild. Flourished around 1112; married Inge (d. 1112), king of Sweden and co-regent (r. 1080–1112); became second wife of Niels, king of Denmark (r. 1104–1134); possibly mother of Magnus. Niels' first wife was Margarethe of Vastergotland

Ulfhild was an important Christian founder in her capacity as queen of Sweden. A highly educated woman, she was a devout Catholic; when she read the sermons of the great Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Ulfhild became interested in establishing religious houses devoted to Bernard's Cistercian rule. The Cistercian sect followed an ascetic lifestyle, its members wearing simple habits and living in isolated regions, spending their lives praying, fasting, and studying holy texts. Ulfhild succeeded in using her authority and influence to found several Cistercian houses in Sweden, both convents and monasteries. She was thus instrumental in the northward spread of the Cistercian order.

Laura York , M.A. in History, University of California, Riverside, California

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