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St. Hedwig, Duchess of Poland and Widow
Magnificat. ^ | unknown | Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints

Posted on 10/16/2006 9:47:11 AM PDT by Salvation

Duchess of Poland and Widow

Saint Hedwig was the wife of Henry, Duke of Silesia and Poland, and the mother of six children. To one of her sisters, married to the King of Hungary, was born the future Saint Elizabeth of Hungary; another was the wife of Philip-Augustus of France, and the third, Abbess of a celebrated monastery at Lutzingen. Saint Hedwig led a humble, austere, and holy life amid all the pomp of her royal state. While still young, she and her spouse made a solemn vow of chastity, ratified by their bishop. Her house was a school of piety and good order; with Duke Henry she built the large monastery of Trebnitz, where she placed nuns of the Order of Citeaux.

Inspired by these holy examples, the Secretary of State of the Duke and Duchess left the court and dedicated all his wealth to the construction of a Cistercian monastery, which he then entered, to spend there the rest of his life.

Saint Hedwig attended to the needs of all the monasteries and the hermits of the region, visiting them herself and taking them clothing, food and all she judged necessary. She visited prisoners and saw that they did not suffer from the cold or from lack of light. She cared for the poor and served them herself in her residence. On Holy Thursday she washed the feet of several lepers, remembering the lessons of Our Saviour. She fasted often and walked barefoot in the snow when she prayed; she slept on the ground.

Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament was the keynote of her life. She considered it her very great privilege to supply the bread and wine for the Sacred Mysteries, and each morning would attend as many Masses as were celebrated. After the death of her husband in 1238, she retired to the Cistercian convent of Trebnitz, where she lived under obedience to her daughter Gertrude, abbess of that monastery, growing day by day in holiness, until God called her to Himself in the year 1243. She was canonized twenty-four years later, by Pope Clement IV. This Pontiff, during the ceremony of her canonization, asked God through her intercession to cure a girl who was blind, and the cure was immediately effected. Saint Hedwig is buried in the church of Trebnitz.

Sources: Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 12; Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

TOPICS: Catholic; Evangelical Christian; Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: catholiclist; germany; poland; sthedwig
Saint of the Day -- October 16th
1 posted on 10/16/2006 9:47:11 AM PDT by Salvation
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Catholic Forum


[Saint Hedwig]
Also known as
Eduviges; Eduvijes; Hedwig of Silesia; Hedwig Queen of Poland; Jadwiga
16 October
Daughter of the Duke of Croatia. Aunt of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. Married Prince Henry I of Silesia and Poland in 1186 at age 12. Mother of seven. Cared for the sick both personally and by founding hospitals. Widow. Upon her husband's death, she gave away her fortune and entered the monastery at Trebnitz.
1174 in Bavaria
October 1243 at Trebnitz
1266 by Pope Clement IV
Bavaria; Berlin, Germany; brides; duchesses; death of children; difficult marriages; diocese of Görlitz, Germany; Silesia; victims of jealousy; widows
Additional Information
Google Directory
Lives of the Saints, by Father Alban Butler
Catholic Encyclopedia, by J P Kirsch
For All The Saints, by Katherine Rabenstein
New Catholic Dictionary
Gallery of images of Saint Hedwig [2 images, 46 kb]
Hedwig knew that those living stones that were to be placed in the buildings of the heavenly Jerusalem had to be smoothed out by buffetings and pressures in this world, and that many tribulations would be needed before she could cross over into her heavenly homeland. Because of such great daily fasts and abstinences she grew so thin that many wondered how such a feeble and delicate woman could endure these torments. The more attentively she kept watch, the more she grew in the strength of the spirit and in grace, and the more the fire of devotion and divine love blazed within her.

Just as her devotion made her always seek after God, so her generous piety turned her toward her neighbor, and she bountifully bestowed alms on the needy. She gave aid to colleges and to religious persons dwelling within or outside monasteries, to widows and orphans, to the weak and the feeble, to lepers and those bound in chains or imprisoned, to travelers and needy women nursing infants. She allowed no one who came to her for help to go away uncomforted.

And because this servant of God never neglected the practice of all good works, God also conferred on her such grace that when she lacked human means to do good, and her own powers failed, through divine favor of the sufferings of Christ she had the power to relieve the bodily and spiritual troubles of all who sought her help.

from a biography of Saint Hedwig

2 posted on 10/16/2006 9:49:16 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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3 posted on 10/16/2006 9:49:59 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

"While still young, she and her spouse made a solemn vow of chastity, ratified by their bishop." "and the mother of six children."

4 posted on 10/16/2006 9:54:01 AM PDT by GSlob
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To: GSlob

Quite an interesting story there. Would it happen today?

5 posted on 10/16/2006 9:59:16 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

"Miracles!", as Rabelais' Gomenatz used to say.

6 posted on 10/16/2006 10:01:37 AM PDT by GSlob
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7 posted on 10/16/2007 4:07:37 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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