Also known as Hedwig and Jadwiga King of Poland, Saint Edugivis was an exceptional woman who remained strong and generous through a host of horrible domestic tribulations.
Saint Edugivis became the monarch of Poland at 10 years of age. Even at that time, she was greatly favoured by the people because of her great intellect as well as her admiration and dedication to four powerful saints: Mary, Martha, Bridget of Sweden, and Hedwig of Andechs (her patron saint).
When Saint Edugivis was 12 she married and handed the throne of Poland over to her cousin and rival, Jogaila, with the following conditions:
- She would retain her royal her royal rights
- Jogaila would join Lithuania and Poland
- Jogaila would adopt Western Christianity
Just one year after her wedding, her mother and her sister were kidnapped and held, most likely on the orders of her sister’s consort. With a great deal of diplomacy, her adopted maternal uncle was able to secure their release. At the last-minute his efforts were partially betrayed, as Saint Edugivis’ mother was brutally strangled and only her sister released. Sadly, this was only a temporary happiness. Eight years later, her then heavily pregnant sister died under extremely suspicious circumstances.
Though she personally opened negotiations with the Teutonic Knights, Saint Edugivis was content to primarily handle cultural and charitable activities, whilst leaving the bulk of the politics in her husband’s capable hands.
Before her unfortunate death from birth complications, Saint Edugivis accomplished many great things including the following:
- Sponsorship of many artists and writers
- Donating her insignia as well as a large amount of her wealth to charity
- Sending 20 Lithuanians to Charles University in Prague with the goal of strengthening Christianity in their country
- Founding a bishopric in Vilnius
- Restoration of the Krakow Academy