Saturday Saints- #124

It has been some time since I have tried to cover the letter “Q” in this series. Understandable, given how few canonized saints have names which begin with that letter. Since there are so few, I will instead do something different with the letter- I will feature a Queen who is also recognized as a saint. Our first saint will thus be Queen Jadwiga of Poland:

Jadwiga ([jadˈvʲiɡa]), also known as Hedwig (Hungarian: Hedvig; 1373/4 – 17 July 1399), reigned as the first female monarch of the Kingdom of Poland from 16 October 1384 until her death. She was the youngest daughter of Louis the Great, King of Hungary and Poland, and his wife, Elizabeth of Bosnia. Jadwiga was a member of the Capetian House of Anjou, but had more close ancestors among the Polish Piasts. She was canonized in the Roman Catholic Church in 1997.

Jadwiga was crowned “king” in Kraków on 16 October 1384. Her crowning either reflected the Polish lords’ opposition to her intended future husband, William, adopting the royal title without a further Act or only emphasized that she was a queen regnant. With her mother’s consent, Jadwiga’s advisors opened negotiations with Jogaila, Grand Duke of Lithuania, who was still a heathen, about his marriage to Jadwiga. Jogaila signed the Union of Krewo, promising to convert to Roman Catholicism and to promote his ‘pagan’ subjects’ conversion. Meanwhile, William of Habsburg hurried to Kraków to demand the consummation of his pre-arranged marriage with Jadwiga, but the Polish lords expelled him in late August 1385. Jogaila, who received the baptismal name Władysław, married Jadwiga on 15 February 1386. Legend says that she had only agreed to marry him after long prayers, seeking divine inspiration.

Władysław-Jogaila was crowned king on 4 March. As her co-ruler, Władysław closely cooperated with his wife. After rebellious lords had imprisoned her mother and sister, she marched into Ruthenia, which had been under Hungarian rule, and persuaded most local inhabitants to become subjects of the Polish Crown without resistance. She acted as mediator between her husband’s quarreling kinsmen, and between Poland and the Teutonic Knights.

Far more can be found out about her at her wiki, located here.

jadwiga_by_bacciarelli

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