Blessed Yolanda (Helen) of Poland
1235 - 1298
Feastday: 11 and 12 June
Blessed Yolanda of Poland (also known as Helen; 1235 – 11 June 1298) was
the daughter of King Béla IV of Hungary and Maria Laskarina. She was the sister
of Saint Margaret of Hungary and Saint Kinga (Cunegunda). One of her paternal
aunts was the great Franciscan saint, Elizabeth of Hungary.
As a young girl, Yolanda was sent to
Poland to be tutored under the supervision of her sister, Kinga, who was married
to the Duke of Poland. There, she was encouraged to marry Bolesław the Pious,
which she did in 1257. They had three daughters:
- Elisabeth of Kalisz (1263 – 28 September 1304); married Henry V, Duke
- Hedwig of Kalisz (1266 – 10 December 1339); married Władysław I the
Elbow-high, King of Poland.
- Anna of Kalisz (born 1278, date of death unknown); a nun in Gniezno.
During the time of her marriage, she was
noted for her great services to the poor and needy of the country, as well as
being a major benefactor of the monasteries, friaries and hospitals connected to
them. Her husband gave her so much support in her charities that he earned the
nickname "the Pious". She was widowed in 1279.
Following Boleslaus' death, Yolanda and
Kinga, along with one of Yolanda's daughters, Anna, retired to the Poor Clare
monastery that Kinga had founded in Sandez. Forced to relocate due to armed
conflict in the region, Yolanda founded a new monastery in Gniezno. She was
persuaded to become abbess of the community shortly before her death.
She has been declared a candidate
for sainthood. Her sisters, Kinga and Margaret, have already been canonized.
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