Mathilda a Roman Catholic saint, and queen of Germany, was born in Westphalia, towards the close of the 9th century. She was the daughter of Theodoric. count of Oldenburg, a descendant of the famed Wittikind, and of a princess of Denmark. She was educated by her grandmother, abbess of the convent of Herword. In 909 she was married to Henry, afterwards king of Germany. On the throne she preserved the piety and simplicity which distinguished her from her youth. A great part of her time was spent in prayer. She gave liberally to the poor, whom she often nursed herself. She had three sons: the emperor Otho the Great; Henry, duke of Bavaria; and Bruno, archbishop of Cologne. One of her daughters, Hecdwige, was married to Hugh the Great, duke of France, and became mother of Hugh Capet. After the death of her husband, Otho and Henry of Bavaria quarreled concerning the crown of Germany. Henry, for whom his mother showed great partiality on this occasion, having subsequently become reconciled with Otho, joined him in despoiling Mathilda of her dowry and of all her possessions, under pretense that she was squandering the money of the state in giving alms to the poor. Her property was, however, subsequently returned to her through the interference of Edith, wife of Otho. The remainder of her life was passed in meditation and works of charity. She founded several convents, and died at Quedlinburg, March 14, 968. See Acta Sanctorum, March 14; Baillet, Vie des Saints; Mabillon, Saecula Ordinis Benedictorum; Schwarz, De Mathilda, abbatissa Quedlimburgensi (Altdorf, 1736, 4to); Breitenbatch, Leben d. Kaiserin Mathilde (Reval, 1780, 8vo); Treitschke, Heinrich I und Mathilde (Lpz. 1814, 8vo); Mathilde Gemahlin Heinrichs I (Augsburg, 1832, 8vo). — Herzog, Real-Encyklopadie, 9:161; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 34:250. (J. N. P.)

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