On the Patronal Feast of St. Hedwig
Today the parish of Holy Cross celebrates the patronal feast of St. Hedwig (Święta Jadwiga Śląska). Hedwig of Silesia was a thirteenth century Duchess, and she is Patroness of Poland (and of wise and strong women!). When Hedwig’s husband, Duke Henry, was imprisoned over a dispute about Silesian ruler ship, she interceded successfully for his release, and this led to the promotion of his benevolent authority, as Henry later became Duke of Greater Poland and soon after, High Duke at Kraków. She is a salient reminder that while we respect the power of the great men of old who sat on the thrones of Christian Europe, we should never underestimate the influence of the women who were so often behind that power and who administered well their rightful share of it.
Henry and Hedwig were faithful and pious Catholic Christians, and under Hedwig’s care the religious and cultural life of Silesia and Greater Poland underwent significant development. Canonized a mere twenty-five years after her death, Hedwig was revered even during her lifetime for her penitential way of being and her great heart for the poor and for those dedicated to the monastic and conventual life.
This year again we take joy in celebrating together the various patrons of the churches that make up our parish, and therefore of their respective histories and congregations, which have done so much to make Nordeast Catholicism the rich tapestry that it is, and which have so much to offer our city in the future.
Under the banner of St. Hedwig we pray for the healing and prosperous fruitfulness of marriages and families in our parish and in our great city. By the prayers of St. Hedwig may husbands and wives be reconciled to one another and make themselves partners together in witnessing to the Gospel of Christ.
Saint Hedwig, Patroness of Poland and Northeast Minneapolis, Pray for Us!