Trzebnica - Discovered after 256 years!

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Trzebnica - Discovered after 256 years!

On March 11th 2020, around 11.00 am, during the research and conservation works on the tomb of St. Hedwig of Silesia in our basilica in Trzebnica, with the guidance of Divine Providence, the remains of Hedwig - the Duchess of Silesia - were discovered. When we were looking for the answer why the tomb brakes and shatters, we also decided to find the place where “a wooden box covered with silver and containing the remains of St. Hedwig” is resting.

   You may find such information in the book of Romuald Kaczmarek and Jacek Wtkowski called „The Mausoleum of St. Hedwig in Trzebnica”. The research and conservation works started in the fall 2019 and were supervised by Mrs. Dorota Wandrychowska – an art conservator. But the real works began at the beginning of January 2020. The works were mainly focused on the bottom part of the sarcophagus. The security screens were set up and removed some elements of the altar located in front of the sarcophagus. The works tried to find out if the foundation plate might be some kind of entrance into the tomb. It didn’t take much time to become clear that behind that plate of the abbess Krystyna from Wierzbno – the founder of the tomb – the several dozen centimeters thick wall was placed. After drilling and using digital camera the empty space was discovered. We ask for the opinion of the art historians Mr. Romuald Nowak and Mr. Witold Wańka. The smaples of the material were taken for the laboratory tests. The next stage was to try to drill in upper part of the sarcophagus – to the black marble coffin with the statue of St. Hedwig made with alabaster on top of it. But it occurred that it was a solid brick wall and supposedly it was the basis for the statue. When Mr. Kazimierz Durawa – a stonemason – was drilling, he was standing on stone pedestal. Between his feet he noticed a stone plate with slightly different color than other stone plates on the pedestal. It was a piece of sandstone. Under the sandstone there was a silver box in the shape of small coffin, with well-done golden coat of arms, covered with pieces of charcoal and plaster. The urn was in perfect shape – the gold and silver were shining and there were no signs of corrosion. Underneath there was a small plate made with lead with the information written in Latin. It said that these are the relics of St. Hedwig, put in the sarcophagus in 1679 and transferred to that exact place in 1764. The layer of plaster mixed with charcoal makes us sure that for 256 years nobody was looking in there.


   Taking into account the context St. Hedwig’s life, her service to the sick and those in need and the time when her relics was discovered to the world, we may be sure that God gives us a clear sign to think about St. Hedwig as a patroness in the fight against coronavirus. Because of that, for the time of coronavirus epidemic, the relics were placed in the tower of the basilica that anyone who looks from the far on that tower might be aware that St. Hedwig is there and prays for the fading of the epidemic.

   I would like to encourage you all to pray every day with a special prayer through the intercession of St. Hedwig for fading coronavirus. The prayer is available in Polish, English, German and Spanish. You may find the full text of the prayer in the gallery below.

Saint Hedwig – our aid against the coronavirus pandemic – pray for us!

St. Hedwig remains discovered! Zobacz galerię