Blessed Salome of Cracow
(Salome de Cracovie)
Feast Day – Nov 18
Salome was a daughter of the royal family of Prince Lescon V, and a sister of Boleslas the Chaste.
Blessed Salome of Cracow was born at Cracow, the capital of Poland, in 1201. At the age of 3, according to the custom of the time, she was betrothed to Prince Colman of Hungary, a brother of St Elizabeth of Thuringia, and was sent to the court of King Andrew II in order to be raised according to the customs of the country.
The little girl proved to be a child of grace and a model to all with whom she associated. When the day of her marriage arrived, both spouses resolved to preserve their virginity. They preserved their vow intact to the end of their lives.
The pious couple vied with each other in their practices of piety and penance. With the consent of her husband, Salome received the habit of the Third Order of St Francis at the hands of her confessor, a Franciscan friar. Following her example, many of the ladies at court renounced worldly pomp and vanity, and the palace took on the appearance of a convent.
Even when her husband became king of Galicia, and Salome, in addition to the crown that was here by birth, received a royal crown, she remained the simple daughter of St Francis in the Order of Penance.
King Coleman fell in battle against the Tatars in 1225. Salome then resolved to consecrate herself to God, and used her wealth in supporting the poor and in building churches.
In 1240 Blessed Salome of Cracow entered the convent of the Poor Clares at Zawichost. The convent was later removed to the vicinity of Cracow, to protect it against the inroads of the Tatars, and it was known as St Mary of the Stairs. Here Salome continued to live for 28 years, highly respected by her fellow sisters because of her virtue. On several occasions she was elected to the office of abbess.
When she was 67 years old, Blessed Salome of Cracow was seized with an illness one day during holy Mass, and she predicted that her death would follow shortly. Admonishing those about her deathbed to practice charity and harmony, and faithfully observe the rule, she died November 17, 1268, favored and fortified in her last hour with a vision of our Lady and the Child Jesus.
A heavenly sign that she was receiving a third crown, the best of them all, was the fact that her sisters in religion, at the moment of her death, saw a brilliant star rise from her lips and mount to heaven.
When her body was exhumed seven months after burial, it was found incorrupt and giving forth a sweet odor. She was then entombed in the Franciscan Church at Crakow beside her husband, King Colman. Many miracles occurred in testimony of her sanctity, whereupon Pope Clement X beatified her.
from: The Franciscan Book Of Saints, ed. by Marion Habig, OFM
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