READING OF THE DAY: 17 OCTOBER, 2014

Jesus4

“At that time: So many people were crowding together that they were trampling one another underfoot.

He began to speak, first to his disciples, “Beware of the leaven–that is, the hypocrisy–of the Pharisees.

There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.

Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops.

I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more.

I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.

Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins?

Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God.

Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.

Do not be afraid.

You are worth more than many sparrows.”” -Luke 12:1-7.

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SAINT OF THE DAY: 17 OCTOBER, 2014

Saint Hedwig

Duchess of Poland and Widow
(† 1243)

Saint Hedwig

Saint Hedwig was the wife of Henry, Duke of Silesia and Poland, and the mother of six children. To one of her sisters, married to the King of Hungary, was born the future Saint Elizabeth of Hungary; another was the wife of Philip-Augustus of France, and the third, Abbess of a celebrated monastery at Lutzingen.

Saint Hedwig led a humble, austere, and holy life amid all the pomp of her royal state. While still young, she and her spouse made a solemn vow of chastity, ratified by their bishop.

Her house was a school of piety and good order; with Duke Henry she built the large monastery of Trebnitz, where she placed nuns of the Order of Citeaux.

Inspired by these holy examples, the Secretary of State of the Duke and Duchess left the court and dedicated all his wealth to the construction of a Cistercian monastery, which he then entered, to spend there the rest of his life.

Saint Hedwig attended to the needs of all the monasteries and the hermits of the region, visiting them herself and taking them clothing, food and all she judged necessary.

She visited prisoners and saw that they did not suffer from the cold or from lack of light.

She cared for the poor and served them herself in her residence.

On Holy Thursday she washed the feet of several lepers, remembering the lessons of Our Saviour.

She fasted often and walked barefoot in the snow when she prayed; she slept on the ground.

Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament was the keynote of her life. She considered it her very great privilege to supply the bread and wine for the Sacred Mysteries, and each morning would attend as many Masses as were celebrated.

After the death of her husband in 1238, she retired to the Cistercian convent of Trebnitz, where she lived under obedience to her daughter Gertrude, abbess of that monastery, growing day by day in holiness, until God called her to Himself in the year 1243.

She was canonized twenty-four years later, by Pope Clement IV. This Pontiff, during the ceremony of her canonization, asked God through her intercession to cure a girl who was blind, and the cure was immediately effected.

Saint Hedwig is buried in the church of Trebnitz.

(SOURCE: Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 12;Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).)