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St. Hedwig of Silesia

Fot. ww.silesia.edu.pl

Saint Hedwig came from Bavaria. She was married to Henry the Bearded, of the Silesian line of the Piast dynasty, Duke of Silesia. She was proclaimed a saint because she and her husband supported the deepening of christian lifestyle and cultural development of Silesia. Hedwig showed what it means to live the Gospel by example. She is the model of charity today:

  • as she was founding a Cistercian monastery, she thought about the prisoners, she was echanging the death penalty or long imprisonment for work at building churches and convents
  • she was easing the fate of prisoners sending them food and clothing
  • she managed the hospital in the courtyard, where sick and crippled found care everyday
  • she was personally visiting the sick and was supporting the poor generously
  • in the event of disasters she ordered to distribute grain, meat, salt, despite the protests of administrators
  • she orgenized the hospital for leper, hospice, mobile hospital, the poorhouses, field kitchens
  • she donated the churches and convents as well as euipped them with vestments, that she and her court ladies embroidered
  • she took care of the selection of servants to the court and made sure that the administrators in her properties didn´t oppress the peasants, she took care of the court servants
  • she chaired the courts
  • she sponsored the poor, talented students
  • she showed strong political skills often interceding for her husband

Considering the fact that Hedwig lived in medieval times, her ideas have been timeless. She was canonised by the Catholic Church in 1267. She is the patron saint of:

  • refugees, unity and freedom
  • Europe, Poland, Silesia
  • the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Wrocław and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Görlitz
  • the cities of Wleń, Berlin, Kraków, Trzebnica and Wrocław