Friday, February 24, 2006

Saint Henry

Henry was born to a life of command. While still in his early twenties, at the death of his father, he became the Duke of Bavaria. His life until this point had been exemplified by piety and self-sacrifice. His beloved wife, Saint Cunegunda, rivaled him in the practice of virtue and in her desire to aid and love their people. Together, they lived in a state of chastity.

Henry was declared ruler of Germany and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. During his reign he continued in the exercise of Christian and manly virtues. The poor were fed and justice prevailed.

Whenever he waged war, it was due to the necessity of defending the rights of the Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Church. Never did he seek might and power, but rather he did it for the defense of the faith of his people. The salvation of souls was his greatest desire.

He placed himself with great faith under the intercession of the communion of saints, fighting more often with prayers than with the force of arms. Angels and martyrs were visibly seen assisting him in a battle against the Slavs, when, with a small force he put to flight the larger enemy host and thus prevented their continued destruction of churches and the slaying of his innocent people.

A wicked man had driven the Pope from Rome and was sitting on the Pope’s chair. Henry led his army against him, beat him and brought the Holy Father back to Rome.

Whenever he entered a city, his first visit was always to Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. Once Jesus allowed Henry to see Him, Jesus, saying Mass in a great church in Rome. Both Henry and his wife Cunegunda became great Saints. His feast day is July 15th.

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