St. Hedwig

October 16

c. 1174-1243

Also known as Jadwiga, she was the daughter of Count Berthold IV of Andechs, Bavaria, where she was born. She was educated at Kitzingen Monastery in Franconia and when she was twelve, she was married to Duke Henry of Silesia. In 1202, on the death of his father, Henry succeeded to the dukedom and at Hedwig's request built a Cistercian monastery for nuns at Trebnitz, the first monastery for women in Silesia; the couple founded numerous other monasteries and hospitals. They had seven children, and two of them, Henry and Conrad, despite Hedwig's efforts, warred over the division of territories made by Duke Henry in 1112; and in 1227 Henry and Duke Ladislaus of Sandomir warred against Swatopluk of Pomerania. They were successful but when Ladislaus was killed, Henry went to war against Conrad of Masovia over Ladislaus' lands; Hedwig acted as peacemaker between the two and restored peace. On the death of Henry in 1238, Hedwig moved into the monastery at Trebnitz. Her son Henry was killed in 1240 in a battle against the Mongol Tartars near Wahlstadt, and she died at Trebnitz, Poland, on October 15. Many miracles were attributed to her and she was canonized in 1267. She is the patroness of Silesia.


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