Cunegund, daughter of Count Sigefroi I of Luxembourg and Hedwig of Nordgau, was born around 975 in Luxembourg. Around 999, she married Henry IV, who a few years later was crowned emperor, Henry II, better known as Henry the Holy (or the Limping). Cunegund played an active part in her husband's reign; many documents and chronicles of the time bear witness to this by the use of the phrase 'regnorum consors'. Wipo, a historian at the court of the Salian emperors, describes the queen as the king's indispensable companion: necessaria comes. The empress devoted herself to the poor and the sick and allowed a number of sickhouses to be built. Through generous donations, the couple created the diocese of Bamberg.
A year after the death of her husband, Cunegund retired in 1025 to the Benedictine monastery she had founded in Kaufungen in Germany (Hesse). The empress died in 1033 (or 1039) and was buried in Bamberg Cathedral alongside Henry II.
According to a late legend, probably inspired by the couple's sterility problems, Cunegund never consummated her marriage and successfully submitted to God's judgment of walking barefoot on twelve white-hot ploughshares. She was canonised on 29 March 1200 by Pope Innocent III.
Cunegonde is the patron saint of the church of Clausen in Luxembourg City.
● Ingrid Münch: Kunigunde, Kaiserin, Heilige, in: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon, Band IV Verlag Traugott Bautz ,1992, Spalten 817-820.
● Dr Sonja Kmec / Renée Wagener: Frauenleben, Frauenlegenden - ein Streifzug durch 1000 Jahre Stadtgeschichte, Luxembourg City Tourist Office, 2007.