Memorial of St. Hedwig, religious; St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, virgin
Hedwig was born in 1174 in Bavaria, the daughter of the Duke of Croatia. She was the maternal aunt of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. She married Duke Henry of Silesia and raised seven children. Hedwig persuaded her husband to use her dowry to found a Cisterian monastery for nuns at Trebnitz.
She lived a life of poverty and humility, despite her prominent position. After the death of her husband Hedwig completely renounced the world and entered the monastery of Trebnitz which she had founded. She died on October 15, 1243, and is venerated as patroness of Poland.
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that the revered intercession of Saint Hedwig may bring us heavenly aid, just as her wonderful life is an example of humility for all.
After a girlhood marked by painful illness and even more painful family discord, Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) entered the Visitation convent of Paray-le-Monial, France, at the age of 22. She was ignorant, sickly, and clumsy, but she had great charity and humility.
Our Lord entrusted to her the mission of establishing the reign of the Sacred Heart among the children of men. After nineteen years in the convent, St. Margaret Mary died October 17, 1690.
Pour out on us, we pray, O Lord, the spirit with which you so remarkably endowed Saint Margaret Mary, so that we may come to know that love of Christ which surpasses all understanding and be utterly filled with your fullness.