Ermengarde of Tours and Empress of the West, Queen of Italy and Queen of the Franks was born in 804 in Alsace France the daughter of Hugh of Tours and Ava she became the wife of Emperor Lothair I of the Franks. She most likely spent much of her childhood Sainte-Julie monastery to Brixen, which is in modern Bressanone in northern Italy. She was eventually elected to the abbatial seat there. She married on October 15, 821 in Thionville. Lothair granted her the protectorate of Brixen Abbey, which she defended throughout her life. The two began life happy but the coup of Louis the Pious’ sons (which were discussed in an earlier post and Lothair had taken part in) and the kidnapping of her daughter Ermengarde strained the couple. In 836 her uncle granted her lands in Alsace where she made a sanctuary. She donated to the Abbey of Gorze and Abbey of Ernstain where she was eventually buried. She died on March 20, 851 which was Good Friday.
The 9th century Irish teacher and poet, Sedulius Scotus wrote, “Her voice is as pure as gold and clear as the note of zither. Her skin is as roses mixed in snow. Her blonde hair circles her head like a chrysolith. Her eyes are lively, her white neck like milk, lillies, ivory. Her graceful hands are like the snow.”