Odilia, St

Odilia, St., the patron saint of Alsace, and especially of Strasburg, and protector of all who suffer with diseases of the eye, born about A.D. 650, was the daughter of Ethicot, or Attich, duke of Alsace. Being born blind, and disappointing her father, who expected a male heir, she was turned out of doors. Odilia was first committed to the care of a nurse, and afterwards placed in the monastery of Palma (Beaumne les Nonnes, near BesauoQn) for her education. Here she received her sight, and became very much attached to monastic life. One day one of her brothers, Hugo, came to the monastery without the knowledge of his father, and induced her to return home again, which she did. When her father beheld her approach the castle, and was told that his son was the cause of her return, he became so exasperated at this that he treated his son in the most cruel manner, resulting in his death. The duke, repenting of his deed, now bestowed all his care upon his hitherto neglected daughter, and gave her all his wealth. She built a convent at Hohenburg (q.v.), of which she was the first abbess, and there she gathered about her 130 nuns. For forty years Odilia labored in works of charity, and died Dec. 13, 720. That day is observed by the Romish Church in her honor. See Piper, Evangelisches Kalender- Jahrbuch, 1853, p. 69 sq.; Theologisches Universal-Lexikon, s.v.; Miss Clemens, Handbook of Legendary and Mythological Art (N. Y. 1872), p.

244 sq.; Mabillon, Acta Sanctorum Bened. 3:2, 496; Rettberg, Kirchengyesch. Deutschlands, 2:76 sq. (B. P.)

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