Saints of the Day – Blessed Salomea of Poland, Poor Clare Widow

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Born in Poland c.1219; died in Skala, Hungary, 1268; beatified in 1673. Queen and Poor Clare. They sound like two irreconcilable titles, and yet they could be given to another woman – the Virgin Mary. For wasn’t she the queen of queens, and didn’t she live the life of a Franciscan long before Saint Francis? Saint Francis only rediscovered the simplicity of her life. Every humble task of every woman in the world was known to Mary, the Queen.

Mary, Queen and Poor Clare! The titles crown our earthly Virgin like a crown of white thorns. The hedges are full of them at the moment. But let us return to Salomea, whose path on the earth runs alongside that of the Blessed Virgin.

Salomea was the daughter of Prince Lesko of Poland. At the age of three, like Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, she was taken from her parents to be betrothed to Prince Coloman of Hungary. An archbishop took her to the Hungarian court, where she would be taught the customs of the country. At 13, she was married to her lord.

Coloman, Salomea’s husband, died young, leaving her a widow at age 22. He was killed in battle in 1241, and our queen, leaving the government to his brother, could now devote herself entirely to the religious life. She founded the convent of Poor Clares at Zawichost, later removed to Skala, where she became a Poor Clare.

Unlike the Blessed Virgin, Salomea bore no earthly children, but undertook the maternal responsibilities of an abbess. In the convent that she had founded, she would have preferred to take the last place rather than the first, but so great was her merit that whatever place she took, even if it were the last, at once became the first.

Unable to escape this leadership, she humbly accepted it and became the abbess. And if we turn back to Mary we see that she saw herself as the servant, but was the Queen. If we consider the little group of disciples and saintly women as the first Community, then wasn’t Mary the Mother also their abbess?

Salomea died after 28 years of religious life, and like Mary went to heaven (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

MLA Citation

  • Katherine I Rabenstein. Saints of the Day, 1998. CatholicSaints.Info. 12 August 2020. Web. 29 November 2020. <>