June 8, St Hedwig of Poland (Jadwiga Królowa)

June 8
SAINT HEDWIG of POLAND, QUEEN
Obligatory memorial

Hedwig was born in 1374 as a daughter of the King of Hungary and Poland – Louis. She inherited the throne of Poland form her father and in 1384 was crowned. She married the Great Duke of Lithuania – Władysław Jagiełło and contributed the Christianisation of the country. She also facilitated the creation of the Faculty of Theology in Kraków and the subsequent renewal of the University. Throughout her life, she was known for her generosity. She died in Kraków on 17 July 1399.

Common of Holy Women.

OFFICE OF READINGS

SECOND READING

From the work of Jan Długosz “The Annals of the Kingdom of Poland”
(Book III, p. 531)
Renowned and venerated because of her exquisite virtues

Today, i.e. 17 July 1399, Queen Hedwig has passed away. Her countenance was very charming, but even more so her decency. She was the propagator of the Catholic faith in Lithuania. She established the college of cantors in the Kraków Cathedral and two altars. She founded the monastery of Our Lady in Piasek. She began to endow and erect the monastery of the Slavic Brothers. In Advent and Lent she would tame her body with a hair shirt and extraordinary mortification. She was full of generosity for the poor, widows, travellers, pilgrims and all paupers and needy.

She was free of recklessness, wrath; pride, envy or obstinacy could not be found in her. She was known for her deep piety and unmeasured love of God. Leaving behind all pride of worldly depravation, she would turn her soul and thoughts to prayer and reading pious books – the Old and New Testament, the homilies of the four doctors, lives of the Fathers, sermons, lives of the saints and the sermons of blessed Bernard, Ambrose, the revelations of St Bridget and other translated from Latin to Polish. She would feed a number of talented young men devoted to science. She founded the college for Lithuanians in Prague and made the erection of the Faculty of Theology in Kraków possible. In her will she donated all of her jewels, robes, money and royal dresses to help the poor and to renew the University of Kraków.

She also left the Kraków Cathedral a rationale made of pearls. She was so famous and valued for her moral conduct in the entire Catholic world that everyone venerated her, even while she was alive, as a model of sainthood.[1]

RESPONSORY Proverbs 31:10; 26; 30

Whoever shall find a worthy wife? Her value is far beyond the pearls. She opens her mouth in wisdom,
 And on her tongue is kindly counsel.

Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
And on her tongue is kindly counsel.

 MORNING PRAYER

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH

Ant. God came to meet her with the blessings of success, He has set on her head a crown of pure gold.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

O God,
the life of the faithful and the glory of the humble,
You made Saint Hedwig, Queen, a zealous propagator of faith and love,
grant, through her intercession, that we may become the apostles of truth and goodness.
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

CANTICLE OF MARY

Ant. You have laid upon her splendour and majesty, you have granted your blessings to her for all nations.

[1] Translated by DChojnacki (2016).

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