Franciscan Saints







Blessed Yolande (Jolenta) of Poland,(also known as Helen)


Widow Second Order

Feast days 11th and 12th June, beatified by Pope Leo X11, in 1827

Yolande was the daughter of Bela IV, king of Hungary. Her mother, Mary was the daughter of the Greek emperor of Constantinople. In the year 1240, when Yolande was scarcely five years old, she arrived at the court in Poland.  Her elder sister, Blessed Kinga ( Cunigunda), who was  married to the duke of Poland, had asked to supervise the child’s education. Under such a mistress, Yolande grew not only in age, but also in virtue and grace before God and men.

When she arrived at young womanhood, Yolande was married to  Boleslaus, the duke of Greater Poland. But the young   duchess was not enamored of the glory and pleasure of this world. ` It was a greater pleasure for her to do good in her elevated position. Like a true sovereign, she came to the assistance of the poor and the sick, the widows and the orphans. She and her husband built hospitals, convents, and churches, and she was so  great an inspiration to him in everything that was good and pleasing to God, that he received the surname of the Pious.

But Boleslaus was soon to receive the reward of his piety in heaven. After his death and after two of her daughters were married, Yolande and her third daughter left all the glamour and riches of the world and withdrew to the convent of the Poor Clares at Sandec, where, devoted to prayer and mortification, she led a  life entirely hidden in Christ. Disturbances resulting from war compelled her after a time to move to the convent at Gniezno, which she herself, assisted by her late consort, had founded.

In spite of the reluctance to which her humility prompted her, she was advanced to the position of abbess. So successfully did  she guide her sisters by word and example in the practice of all the religious virtues that the convent flourished like a new garden  of God. Even beyond the walls of the cloister she did very much  good, so that the fame of the holy abbess spread far and wide.

But, notwithstanding all her fame, she remained entirely devoted to the interior life, as her vocation required. Her favorite devotion was meditation on the sufferings of Christ, during which     the Divine Saviour once manifested Himself to her under the appearance of the Crucified. He announced to her that He would soon lead her to glory. Attacked by a serious illness, she asked to receive the last sacraments. Then she admonished her spiritual daughters to persevere in fidelity to the holy rule, and de parted blessedly in the Lord in 1298.

 After her death Yolande appeared in wondrous glory, together with St. Stanislaus the bishop, to the sick abbess and restored her to health. Many other miracles occurred at her grave down to our own time






Prayer of the Church


Almighty and eternal God, who didst mercifully withdraw

Blessed Yolande from honor and riches, and disdt graciously

inspire her to choose instead the humble cross of Thy Son and the

mortification of the flesh, grant, through her intercession and

merits, that we may despise temporal things and with upright hearts

seek those that are eternal.

Through the same Christ Our Lord Who liveth  and reigneth
Thee and the Holy Spirit,  One God, now and forever.  Amen



Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois


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