The Feast Day of St. Adelaide of Vilich Thread

Today is 5 February, year 12,021 of the Human Era. It is the Feast Day of St Adelaide of Vilich, a German abbess who was canonized in 1966.

As a child, she was given to a convent of St. Ursula. When her older brother died, her wealthy parents began building a church in his honor, and simultaneously got a land grant to build an associated female monastic community and pulled their daughter from the convent to lead this new community under the guidance of her mother.

When Adelaide was 25, her mother died, leaving Adelaide to run the community on her own. Three years later, her father died, leaving her the vast family fortune, which she used to expand the monastery’s lands. The remainder of the fortune she disbursed to the poor as a charitable act.

During her term of office, the region around Cologne was affected by famines. Therefore, she prayed for the poorest and as a result a source of water arose in the district of Pützchen in modern-day Bonn. The source was transformed to a well and it became an important pilgrimage destination for the worship of Adelheid. This fountain has been preserved until today; every year in September, there is a pilgrimage in veneration of Adelheid. In 1641, her grave in the Vilicher Stiftskirche was opened and it was empty. After this discovery, the number of pilgrims fell sharply, but every year a few relics were and still are shown to the public.

Adelaide is a Patron Saint of Bonn and against eye diseases.