Saint Hedwig

Saint of the Day for 10/16

Rarely do humans realize the possibilities of the wise use of earthly power and worldly wealth. Hedwig was one of the few.

Born to nobility toward the close of the 12th century, she was married at an early age to Henry, duke of Silesia (now Poland). Through her persuasion and personal efforts, several monastic institutions of both men and women were established in Silesia. Several hospitals, one for lepers, were likewise founded. She was personally a great force in establishing peace in the surrounding areas during power struggles. To her great sorrow, she was unable to prevent a pitched battle between the forces of two of her sons, one of whom was dissatisfied over the partition of estates that Henry had made between them.

After she and her husband had made mutual vows of celibacy, she lived mostly at the monastery at Trebnitz where, although not a formal member of the religious institute, she nevertheless participated in the religious exercises of the community. She died in 1243 and was buried at Trebnitz.

Whatever possessions we have are not for our own needs or personal comfort alone; they are also to be used in assisting others. Use of these goods should always promote, never impede, progress in God’s love. It is true that earthly things in no way contradict God’s love, but rather are evident of it.