St. Odilia

Patron saint of the blind, Saint Odilia of Alsace was born blind at Oberheim in the Vosges Mountains around the year 660 to a noble family. She was given to a peasant family to raise due to her disability. She regained sight when touched by St. Erhard of Regensburg during her baptism at age 12.

Her brother wanted her back to place in a strategic marriage. Angered by this, her father killed the brother who was miraculously brought back to life by Odilia. Her father pursued her, but abandoned his quest when she disappeared in a cave that opened suddenly in the mountains.

Odilia founded Hohenburg Abbey. She died of natural causes on Dec. 13, 720 at Niedermunster, Mount Sainte Odile and was buried near the Odilienberg convent church chapel. She often is depicted as an abbess praying at an alter or as a woman with two books for eyes.

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