Posted by: anna | January 6, 2011

Adela of Pfalzel

Today (24 December) we commmemorate Adela (+ c 730), daughter of Dagobert II, King of the Franks, and founder and first abbess of Pfalzel near Trier in Germany.
St. Adela (2), Dec. 24 (ADDULA, ATHELA, and perhaps ADOLENA ), founder and abbess of Pfalzel ( Palatiolum ),+ c.734. ST. IRMINA of Horres and ST. ADELA of Pfalzel were daughters of Dagobert II., king of Austrasia, sometimes called Saint, and honoured Dec. 23. Adela married Alberic, and had several children. About 700, being a widow, she took the veil in a monastery built for her by Dagobert and St. Modwald, or Rodeald, archbishop of Treves, at Pfalzel on the Moselle. The archbishop’s sister, ST. SEVERA, was the first abbess, and was succeeded by Adela. She is probably that ADOLENA to whom ST. ELFLEDA wrote to bespeak her kindness and hospitality for another English abbess on her way to Rome, supposed to be B. Witburga (2). St. Boniface visited her convent on his way from Frisia to Thuringia, about 722. She had at the time a grandson, named Gregory, staying with her, a boy of fourteen or fifteen, who read aloud from the Holy Scriptures while the nuns and their guest were at dinner. St. Boniface remarked that he read very well, and bade him explain the passage. This the boy could not do, and Boniface took up the subject and preached to the whole community with so much eloquence and impressiveness that Gregory told his grandmother he must go with the holy man and become his pupil. Adela objected to let her darling go and travel in heathen lands and unexplored wilds ; but he feared no danger, and far from listen ing to any dissuasion, he said if his grandmother would not give him a horse, as became the grandson of a king, he would follow the missionaries on foot. Adela saw in the earnestness of the child a divine call, and furnished him with what was necessary for the expedition. From that day Gregory never left St. Boniface, until he witnessed his martyrdom at Docking, or Dockum, in Friesland. Achery and Mabillon give a copy of Adela’s will, in which she leaves every thing to her convent, except an estate which she bequeaths to her son Alberic. They call her ‘pious’ rather than ‘saint,’ as her worship seems uncertain. She is commemorated in the French Martyrology, Dec. 24, and honoured with her sister Irmina in several martyrologies.
Holy Adela, pray to God for us.

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