Friday, October 17, 2008

Feast of St Hedwig, the Queen

Hedwig was the youngest daughter of King Louis I of Hungary. She was a member of Capetian of House of Anjou.

Because she was great-niece to King Casimir III of Poland, she became Queen of Poland in 1382 upon her father's death. She was engaged to William, Duke of Austria, whom she loved, but broke off the relationship in order to marry Jagiello, non-Christian Prince of Lithuania, at age 13 for political reasons. She offered her misery in this marriage to Christ, and she eventually converted her husband; Jagiello was later known as King Ladislaus II of Poland after the unification of the kingdoms of Lithuania and Poland, a union that lasted over 400 years. She was exceptional for her charity to all, but especially the sick and poor, and for a revision of the laws to help the poor.

More info on the life of this prominent woman and saint.