Today is the feast day of St. Adelaide of Burgundy, someone who had every right to be depressed and definitely anxious. She was born a princess in the 900s and was married at the age of 16 by treaty arrangement. She was widowed shortly after and imprisoned for refusing marriage to the son of the king that likely killed her first husband. Fortunately, she ended up happily married for 20 years to the next conquering king’s son Otto, Emperor of Rome. Then she was widowed again, ill treated by power-driven extended family, and exiled. When she was able to return instead of using her restored power to exact vengeance or nurse resentment she evangelized, built and restored monasteries and churches, and helped the poor.
When her son Otto III had reached the age of assuming the throne, instead of a lavish retirement as queen mother, which she surely was entitled to, she retired to a convent and prayed until her death.
There is no mention of depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness in her biography but keep in mind this was the 1900s. Even if not clinical, I couldn’t imagine anyone not having moments of discouragement, anxiety, feelings of loneliness, abandonment, and perhaps even fear for her life and that of her son.
Her patronage says a lot about her life and why we can call on her for prayers. She is the patron Saint of abuse victims, people in exile, prisoners, second marriages, stepparents, widows, and parents of large families among other things.
St. Adelaide of Burgundy, pray for us that we may keep the faith when we have to endure difficult situations, and be able to fulfill our duties with generosity in spite of them.
image from Catholic online: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=525