About S. Riccarda di Svevia
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She was born in Alsace, the daughter of Erchanger, count of the Nordgau, of the family of the Ahalolfinger. She married Charles in 862 and was crowned with him in Rome by Pope John VIII in 881. The marriage was childless.
In the crisis of 887, in an effort to bring down the over-powerful and hated Liutward, Charles' arch-chancellor, he and Richardis were accused by Charles and his courtiers of adultery. She was put to the ordeal by fire, which she passed successfully.
She then withdrew to Andlau Abbey, which she had founded on her ancestral lands in 880, and where her niece Rotrod was abbess. (Richardis herself was previously lay abbess of religious houses at Säckingen and Zurich). She died at Andlau on 18 September and was buried there.
Richardis was later canonised by the Roman Catholic Church and her remains were translated in November 1049 by Pope Leo IX to a more impressive tomb in the newly re-built abbey church. The present tomb dates from 1350.
Richardis is patron of Andlau, and of protection against fires. Her iconography refers to her status as an empress and nun and to her ordeal by fire. The bear and ploughshare refer to the foundation legend of Andlau Abbey.
Saint Richardis served her husband faithfully for nineteen years. Then, she had to successfully endure a painful trial by fire to prove her innocence after being accused of infidelity. After this, she went to live as a nun until her death. Her Feast Day is September 18.