Saint Hedwig of Andechs

statue of Saint Hedwig of Andechs, western facade of the cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, Wroclaw, Poland; date and sculptor unknown; photographed on 4 September 2017 by Aw58; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • Hedwig of Silesia
  • Hedwig von Andechs
  • Hedvigis….
  • Hedwiges….
  • Avoice….
  • Jadwiga Śląska



Daughter of Berthold IV, Duke of Merania. Aunt of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. Married Prince Henry I the Bearded of Silesia and Poland in 1186 at age 12. Mother of seven, including Saint Gertrude of Trebnitz. Cared for the sick both personally and by founding hospitals. Widow. Upon her husband’s death, she gave away her fortune and entered the monastery at Trebnitz where her daughter was abbess.






Hedwig knew that those living stones that were to be placed in the buildings of the heavenly Jerusalem had to be smoothed out by buffetings and pressures in this world, and that many tribulations would be needed before she could cross over into her heavenly homeland. Because of such great daily fasts and abstinences she grew so thin that many wondered how such a feeble and delicate woman could endure these torments. The more attentively she kept watch, the more she grew in the strength of the spirit and in grace, and the more the fire of devotion and divine love blazed within her. Just as her devotion made her always seek after God, so her generous piety turned her toward her neighbor, and she bountifully bestowed alms on the needy. She gave aid to colleges and to religious persons dwelling within or outside monasteries, to widows and orphans, to the weak and the feeble, to lepers and those bound in chains or imprisoned, to travelers and needy women nursing infants. She allowed no one who came to her for help to go away uncomforted. And because this servant of God never neglected the practice of all good works, God also conferred on her such grace that when she lacked human means to do good, and her own powers failed, through divine favor of the sufferings of Christ she had the power to relieve the bodily and spiritual troubles of all who sought her help. – from a biography of Saint Hedwig

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Hedwig of Andechs“. CatholicSaints.Info. 22 April 2021. Web. 20 June 2021. <>