July 17th - Hedwig of Poland
Following on yesterday's theme of literary characters whose wisdom challenges us in our Faith, today I focus on Hedwig. J. K. Rowling never misses a chance to name her characters very carefully and the choice of Hedwig for Harry Potter's owl is no exception.
She is another one of those saints who is on the canon because of cultus confirmation, declared by one most likely to do so, John Paul II.
On her father's death, she became queen, moving her into the political realm, where she subjugated her own desires to the needs of her people. This cost her emotionally and eventually physically as she died in childbirth, but she did not cease to be kind. After death she is best known for miracles but in life for her charity to all, but especially the sick and poor, and for revising the laws to remove burdens from the poor.
Wisdom is knowing God and discerning His will whatever our lot in life; let us all take a look around and begin to dismantle the systematic burdens we as a society have created and placed on the backs of the poor and vulnerable, Saint Hedwig help us.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
-- Matthew 5:3-11, 17-19
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