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Jadwiga of Poland facts for kids

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Jadwiga Andegaweńska.jpg
King of Poland
Reign 1384–1399
Coronation 16 October 1384 in the Wawel Cathedral, Kraków
Predecessor Louis I
Successor Władysław II Jagiełło
Burial Wawel Cathedral, Kraków
Spouse Jogaila
Issue Elizabeth Bonifacia
House House of Anjou
Father Louis I of Hungary
Mother Elizabeth of Bosnia

Jadwiga (1373/4 – 17 July 1399) was monarch of Poland from 1384 to her death. Her official title was 'king' rather than 'queen', reflecting that she was a sovereign in her own right and not merely a royal consort. She was a member of the Capetian House of Anjou, the daughter of King Louis I of Hungary and Elizabeth of Bosnia.

She is venerated by the Roman Catholic Church as Saint Hedwig, where she is the patron saint of queens and a United Europe. Jadwiga was well-educated and a polyglot, speaking Latin, Bosnian, Hungarian, Serbian, Polish, German, interested in the arts, music, science, and court life.

in (1385), Jogaila (her suitor) and the lords of Lesser Poland signed the Union of Krewo whereby Jogaila pledged to adopt Western Christianity and unite Lithuania with Poland in exchange for Jadwiga's hand and the Polish crown. Jadwiga and Jogaila wed in March 1385 at Kraków. This was followed by Jogaila's coronation as King of Poland, although Jadwiga retained her royal rights.

As a monarch, young Jadwiga probably had little actual power. Nevertheless, she was actively engaged in her kingdom's political, diplomatic and cultural life and acted as the guarantor of Władysław's promises to reclaim Poland's lost territories. In 1387, Jadwiga led two successful military expeditions.

Jadwiga died in July of 1399, she is buried in Wawel Cathedral. Jadwiga's death undermined Jogaila's position as King of Poland, but he managed to retain the throne until his death 35 years later.

From the time of her death, Jadwiga was venerated widely in Poland as a saint, she was canonized in 1997, by the Polish-born Pope John Paul II. Numerous legends about miracles were recounted to justify her sainthood.

Jadwiga often prayed before a large black crucifix hanging in the north aisle of Wawel Cathedral. The crucifix, "Saint Jadwiga's cross", is still there, with her relics beneath it.

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