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ST HEDWIG – SHE SERVED THE POOR ON BENDED KNEES

22 Nov
ST HEDWIG – SHE SERVED THE POOR ON BENDED KNEES

Then shall the king say to them that shall be on his right hand: Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in; naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me. (Matthew 25:34-36)

ST HEDWIG, WIDOW – FEAST DAY: OCTOBER 16

Hedwig, notable for her royal birth, was the maternal aunt of St Elizabeth, daughter of the King of Hungary. She was given in marriage to Henry, Duke of Poland, and she brought up her children in the fear of God. To serve God more fully, she persuaded her husband that they should make a vow of continence. After his death, she took the habit at the Cistercian monastery at Trebnitz, and there she devoted herself to contemplation and delighted to assist at the Divine Office and Mass.

She possessed extraordinary strength of soul

Distinguished by the noblest virtues, by the strictest penance, by the gravity of her counsels and candour of soul, she became an outstanding example of religious piety. It was her custom to voluntarily subject herself to all the others and to do the more menial chores, to serve the poor on bended knees and to wash and kiss the feet of lepers. Her patience and strength of soul were extraordinary, as was shown upon the death of her son Henry, Duke of Silesia, who was killed in battle by the Tartars. Renowned by the fame of her miracles, especially after her death, Clement IV added her to the number of the saints.

– From: An Approved Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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