b. circa 660, Alsace; d. circa 720, Alsace
The basic facts of the life of Saint Odilia (Odile), founder of two monasteries in Alsace, are difficult to separate from the fictions attached to her sainthood. She seems to have been born blind—she is traditionally associated with cures for eye maladies—and because of this was ordered to be killed by her father, a Frankish nobleman. Odilia's mother rescued her, however, by sending her to a convent. The story goes that her sight was miraculously restored when she received baptism at the age of twelve. She returned to Alsace and, in 690, established the Hohenburg nunnery on what is now called Mount Odilienberg, where she served as abbess. A few years later, not far from Hohenburg, she founded Niedermünster monastery, along with a hospital for the needy.
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