St. Henry II

Feast day: July 13

Henry, Duke of Bavaria, saw his protector, St. Wolfgang, pointing to the phrase "after six," which caused him to begin making preparations for his demise. He continued to wait and pray for another six years, but at the end of the sixth year, he discovered that the warning had been confirmed by his election as emperor. Henry rose to the throne with only one goal in mind: to accomplish everything for Jesus Christ, having been raised in the fear of God.

Henry launched a small-scale assault on the pagan Slavs who were raiding the Western empire's borders. When angels and saints were seen leading Henry's armies, the pagans fled in terror. The victory led to the annexation of Poland, Bohemia, Moravia, and Burgundy to Henry's realm as well as the conquest of Pannonia and Hungary for the Church. After securing the Faith in Germany, Henry entered Italy and expelled Gregory the Antipope. In 1014, Pope Benedict VIII bestowed upon him the title of pope after welcoming him back to Rome.

As was his usual, Henry would spend his first night in a town worshiping in a church honoring our Blessed Mother. On his first night in Rome, he was praying in St. Mary Major's when the Eternal Priest Jesus Christ arrived to celebrate Mass. Then, just as an angel had done to Jacob, an angel touched King Henry on the thigh. Henry received a cross from the angel, who instructed him to accept it as a token of God's love for his chastity and justice. As a result, Henry developed a limp.

Henry used his conquests' fruits for the temple's benefit, much like King David did. His empire's minerals and woods were devoted to the refuge. Churches, monasteries, and grand cathedrals all arose to sanctify and enlighten formerly pagan regions.

Henry was on his deathbed in 1022. St. Cunegunda was returned to her parents by her husband as a virgin. Henry entered eternity to be with Jesus and Mary after giving God his spotless spirit.


O God, who didst this day remove blessed Henry
Thy confessor from his earthly throne to an eternal kingdom:
we humbly beseech Thee, that as by the assistance of Thy grace,
he was proof against all the temptations of the world,
so we may follow his example in withstanding
all the flatteries of this world,
and serve Thee with clean hearts.
Through Christ our Lord.


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