October 16, St Hedwig of Silesia (Jadwiga Śląska)

October 16
SAINT HEDWIG of SILESIA
Obligatory memorial
In the Metropolitan Archdioceses of Upper-Silesia and Wrocław:
Major patron saint of Silesia and the Archdiocese of Wrocław – Solemnity

Hedwig (Jadwiga) was born in Bavaria about 1174. At 13, she married Prince Henry the Bearded, with whom she later had seven children. She served the poor and sick, for whom she founded hospitals. After her husband’s death she took shelter in the convent in Trzebnica, where she died on 15 October 1243.

Common of Holy Women Who Worked for the Underprivileged, except:

[PDF Version]

EVENING PRAYER I

HYMN Rejoice Silesian Land as in Evening Prayer II.

Antiphons, Psalms, Reading, Responsory and Intercessions from Common of Holy Women.

CANTICLE OF MARY

Ant. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

O Almighty and merciful God,
thanks to your inspiration Saint Hedwig insistently sought peace and worked for the underprivileged,
grant us your grace so that through her example we may strive for peace and harmony among men and serve you in those in need.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

OFFICE OF READINGS

HYMN

O Saint Hedwig, our mighty patroness
Daughter of Bavaria and mother Silesians,
God made you a sign of peace
And brotherly concord for both nations.

You became the blessing for strangers,
Seeing in them children sent by Lord;
In them Christ waited for your service,
Boundless love and complete sacrifice.

You discovered great wisdom in the pain
Of widow and mother that lost her son.
You found comfort in Jesus’s cross
That opened your heart for everyone.

We wish to praise with you forever
Father, Son and Spirit of Unity;
Help us follow the paths
Of faith, hope and pure love. Amen.

FIRST READING

From the first letter of the apostle Paul to the Corinthians 12:31-13:13
The Primacy of Love

Brothers! Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

RESPONSORY 1 John 4:16; 7

We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.
Whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.

Let us love one another, because love is of God
Whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.

SECOND READING

From the Life of Saint Hedwig written by a contemporary author
(Acta Sanctorum Octobris 8 [1853] 201-202)
She Persistently Strove for God

Knowing that living stones, meant for building the heavenly Jerusalem, are to be polished in this world by blows of obstacles and oppressions, and that one enters heavenly glory and glorious land by much trouble, the servant of God, Hedwig, willingly accepted a multitude of disasters, and not sparing herself, she mortified her body through frequent flagellation. She would ravage herself so much every day by fasting and temperance that many were surprised how such a feeble and fragile woman could bear that kind of mortification.

The more she mortified her body, always sensibly, the more enriched she became with the power of spirit and the richness of grace; simultaneously the fervour of devotion and God’s love multiplied in her. Oftentimes show yearned for God so much that she became senseless and did not notice what happened around her.

Just as the zeal of her soul constantly strove for God, her benevolent love reached out to neighbours, giving generous alms to those in need. She rendered assistance to both religious communities and individuals reaming inside and outside the convent, to widows and orphans, to the weak and sick, to lepers and prisoners, to passengers, and to mothers raising small children. No one that sought her help was left unsupported.

Since the servant of God did not neglect a single good deed shoe could perform, God gave her a special grace. When there was a shortage of human means to act on and she felt physically exhausted, by a wondrous power of Christ’s passion, she was able to do anything that was expected of her by those that sought her help. To all that resorted to her in hopes of the release from both spiritual and physical ailments, she gave help according to merciful God’s will.[1]

RESPONSORY cf. Proverbs 31:17; 18; 20

She is girt about with strength, and sturdy are her arms.
Hence her lamp is undimmed.

She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy.
Hence her lamp is undimmed.

If solemnity TE DEUM You are God: we praise you.

CONCLUDING PRAYER as in Morning Prayer.

MORNING PRAYER

HYMN

The light of sun shines
And fills the whole earth,
For Christ, the Resurrected Lord,
Reigns over the whole world.

He revealed to Hedwig,
Our Patron of today,
That only in him is salvation
And eternal glory in heavens.

For him she led her life
Finding her cross and pain,
As well as boundless joy
And the pure spring of love.

O Hedwig, Mother of Silesia,
Help your admirers
To recognise in the changing fate
The most sacred will of Christ.

We praise humbly with you
The highest majesty of God;
Let us thank for you
Father with Son and Spirit. Amen.

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH

Ant. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

O Almighty and merciful God,
thanks to your inspiration Saint Hedwig insistently sought peace and worked for the underprivileged,
grant us your grace so that through her example we may strive for peace and harmony among men and serve you in those in need.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

EVENING PRAYER II

HYMN

Rejoice Silesia Land,
May the whole nation
Happily praise God
For Saint Hedwig.

Lord gave her to us
As a sign of his grace
And the gift of unity
Between the nations.

A stranger by origin,
But ours by life,
She became a bridge
Over the precipice of feud.

O God, put an end
To the olden row,
Bring your blissful peace
Between hostile peoples.

May through the intercession
Of the Saint Duchess of Silesia
People of this age
Lend themselves a hand.

O saint Hedwig,
Full of mercy,
Protect us all
And unite in Lord.

With you we wish
To praise the Triune God,
Who is the creator and father
Of all people. Amen.

CANTICLE OF MARY

Ant. Saint Hedwig, protector of Silesia, rejoices in God her Saviour.

CONCLUDING PRAYER as in Morning Prayer.

[1] Translated by DChojnacki (2014).

 

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