Matilda of Ringelheim

March 14

Matilda of Ringelheim was born in 892.  She was the daughter of   Reinhild, a Saxon Count.  She was raised by her grandmother.  She was considered to be extremely pious, righteous, and charitable. She married Henry I in 909 and became the first Ottonian queen.  Her oldest son Otto I restored the Holy Roman Empire in 962 
She had five children, Otto, who was crowned the Holy Roman Emperor in 962, Henry who was the Duke of Bavaria, Bruno who was elected Archbishop of Cologne in 953, Hedwig who married the West Frankish duke, Hugh the Great; and Gerberga who married Gilbert the Carolingian King Louis IV of France.

During her time as queen, she built several monasteries for women and had an influence on justice during her husband’s reign.

After Henry’s death in 936 in Memleben, Queen Mathilde founded Quedlinburg Abbey convent. She lived there and took care of the family’s memorialization of Henry.  Like in other convents, daughters of noble families were raised in Quedlinburg, to later become Abbesses in order to secure the family’s influence. One of them was her granddaughter Matilda, daughter of Otto I who she passed the convent to in 966, after 30 years of leadership. Queen Mathilde founded further convents, one of them in 947 in Enger. Her last convent in Nordhausen in 961.  

Mathilde’s dowry, from King Henry I before his death, was subject to a dispute between her and Otto I.  Otto claimed his mother’s possessions, which eventually led to her fleeing into exile. Otto’s wife, Queen Eadgyth, brought reconciliation when Mathilde left her goods, and Otto was forgiven for his actions.  

Mathilde acquired papal privileges for all monasteries in eastern Saxony before her death in early 968. That was ignored when Theophanu, the wife of Otto II, received Mathilde’s dowry after she died.  DAfter a long illness, Queen Mathilde died on March 14, 968, in the convent of Quedlinburg. She was buried next to her late husband.