Polish Monarch, Roman Catholic Saint. She was slso known as Hedwig of Anjou. She was the youngest daughter of Louis I of Anjou, King of Poland and Hungary and his second wife Elisabeth of Bosnia. Louis had named his daughter Maria as his sole heir but the polish nobles choose Jadwiga as their monarch. She came to Poland in 1384 and was crowned on October 15th, Queen of Poland or rather king (król) which was the title of all Polish monarchs. For the next two years she was the sole regent. She was then pressured to resolve her engagement to Wilhelm of Habsburg and to marry Jogaila of Lithuania. To enable the marriage he was willing to be christened and promised to unite his country with Poland and to enforce Christianity there. With their marriage in February 1386 and their coronation in March the realms of Poland and Lithuania were united under one crown and the two became equal regents. At his christening Jogaila changed his name to Wladyslaw II Jagiello. Jadwiga who was young and well educated, (she spoke five languages) seems to have been very unhappy in her marriage with the 24 years older man. She spent her time with alms giving and caring for the poor and sick. She founded several monasteries and the bishopric of Vilnius. On June 22, 1399 she gave birth to her only child Elizabeth Bonifacia who only survived for three weeks. Jadwiga herself was exhausted from the birth and followed her five days later. In her last will she left her private property to the Krakow Academy, which she had founded, and which was later renamed Jagiellonian University. Wladyslaw retained the throne until his death 34 years later and married three more times. His descendants ruled Poland until 1572. The memory of her good life was preserved in many tales throughout the centuries. In 1997 she was canonized by Pope John Paul II when he visited Cracow.
Bio by: Lutetia
Ladislaus II Jagiello