Thursday, January 08, 2015

St. Adela of Messines: Princess of France


The Saint of the day for January 8th is St. Adela of Messines (1009-1071), Princess of France, Countess of Flanders, and later Benedictine Abbess of Messines.

Born a princess, St. Adela was the second daughter of King Robert the Pious of France and Constance of Arles. She married Count Baldwin IV in her childhood, and was taken by his father, Baldwin IV, to Flanders, to be brought up in his own family. The town of Corbio was her dowry.

Baldwin and Adela built the Benedictine monastery of Messines.  They rebuilt the monastery of Einham, or Iham, on the Scald, and gave it to the Benedictines in 1063. Baldwin made the Fosse neuf, a great canal between Flanders and Artois.

 After Baldwin's death in 1036, Adela entered the monastery of Messines,  that she might spend the remainder of her life in silent prayer. She traveled to Rome to receive the veil and the blessing of Pope Alexander II. She then returned to the monastery of  Messines. and remained there until her death in 1071.

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