St. Maud, or Mathildis, Queen of Germany
From her life, written forty years after her death, by the order of St. Henry; Acta Sanct. t. 7. p. 361.
THIS princess was daughter of Theodoric, a powerful Saxon count. Her parents, being sensible that piety is the only true greatness, placed her very young in the monastery of Erford, of which her grandmother Maud, who had renounced the world in her widowhood, was then abbess. Here our saint acquired an extraordinary relish for prayer and spiritual reading; and learned to work at her needle, and to employ all the precious moments of life in something serious and worthy the great end of her creation. She remained in that house an accomplished model of all virtues, till her parents married her to Henry, son of Otho, duke of Saxony, in 913. Her husband, surnamed the Fowler, from his fondness for the diversion of hawking, then much in vogue, became duke of Saxony by the death of his father, in 916; and in 919, upon the death of Conrad, was chosen king of Germany. He was a pious and victorious prince, and very tender of his subjects. His solicitude in easing their taxes, made them ready to serve their country in his wars at their own charges, though he generously recompensed their zeal after his expeditions, which were always attended with success. Whilst he, by his arms, checked the insolence of the Hungarians and Danes, and enlarged his dominions by adding to them Bavaria, Maud gained domestic victories over her spiritual enemies, more worthy of a Christian, and far greater in the eyes of heaven. She nourished the precious seeds of devotion and humility in her heart by assiduous prayer and meditation; and, not content with the time which the day afforded for these exercises, employed part of the night the same way. The nearer the view was which she took of worldly vanities, the more clearly she discovered their emptiness and dangers, and sighed to see men pursue such bubbles to the loss of their souls; for, under a fair outside, they contain nothing but poison and bitterness. 1 Continue reading