Kinga of Poland

Kinga of Poland (also known as Cunegunda; Polish: Święta Kinga, Hungarian: Szent Kinga) (5 March 1234 24 July 1292) is a saint in the Catholic Church and patroness of Poland and Lithuania.[1][2]

Saint Kinga of Poland
Born5 March 1234
Esztergom, Kingdom of Hungary
Died(1292-07-24)24 July 1292 (aged 68)
Stary Sącz, Kingdom of Poland
Venerated inCatholic Church
Beatified11 June 1690 by Pope Alexander VIII
Canonized16 June 1999 by Pope John Paul II
Feast24 July
Attributesdepicted as an abbess; crown
PatronagePoland, Lithuania


She was born in Esztergom, Kingdom of Hungary, the daughter of King Béla IV of Hungary and Maria Laskarina. She was a niece of Elizabeth of Hungary and great-niece of Hedwig of Andechs. Kinga's sisters were Margaret of Hungary and Jolenta of Poland. She reluctantly married Bolesław V ("the Chaste") and became princess when her husband ascended the throne as High Duke of Poland.[3] Despite the marriage, the devout couple took up a vow of chastity. The marriage was largely arranged by and the vow of chastity patterned after that of Bolesław's sister, Salomea of Poland.[4]

During her reign Kinga got involved in charitable works such as visiting the poor and helping the lepers. When her husband died in 1279, she sold all her material possessions and gave the money to the poor. She soon did not want any part in governing the kingdom which was left to her and decided to become a Poor Clare nun in the monastery at Sandec (Stary Sącz). She would spend the rest of her life in contemplative prayer and did not allow anyone to refer to her past role as Grand Duchess of Poland. She died on 24 July 1292, aged 68.


Pope Alexander VIII beatified Kinga in 1690. In 1695, she was made chief patroness of Poland and Lithuania. On 16 June 1999, she was canonized by Pope John Paul II.[5]


Legend has it that Kinga threw her engagement ring into the Maramures salt mine in what was then Hungary. The ring miraculously traveled along with salt deposits to Wieliczka where it was rediscovered. On the spot the miners erected a statue of Saint Kinga, carved entirely from salt which is 101 meters under the Earth's surface.[6]


See also


  1. " St Kinga". Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  2. "St Kinga". Catholic Encyclopedia. 1915. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  3. Sokol, Stanley S. (1992). "Cunegunda (Helen)". The Polish Biographical Dictionary: Profiles of Nearly 900 Poles who Have Made Lasting Contributions to World Civilization. Bolchazy-Carducci. p. 74. ISBN 9780865162457.
  4. Klaniczay, Gábor (2002-03-14). Holy Rulers and Blessed Princesses: Dynastic Cults in Medieval Central Europe. Cambridge UP. pp. 242–43. ISBN 9780521420181.
  5. Berglund, Bruce R.; Porter, Brian A. (2010). Christianity and Modernity in Eastern Europe. Central European UP. pp. 368 n.61. ISBN 9789639776654.
  6. "wielizka-mine-an-underground-cathedral-". / Archived from the original on 2014-12-05. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
Kinga of Poland
Born: 5 March 1224 Died: 24 July 1292
Royal titles
Preceded by
Agafia of Rus
High Duchess consort of Poland
Succeeded by
Agrippina of Kiev
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