Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Saint Henry, Emperor and Confessor, "the Pious", protector of the Pope and founder of bishoprics

Henry, surnamed the Pious, was first Duke of Bavaria, then King of Germany, and finally Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. He devoted himself zealously to the spread of religion. The bishopric of Bamberg, which he had founded with his family wealth, he made tributary of St. Peter and the Roman Pontiff. He received Benedict VIII when he was a fugitive and restored him to his See. To protect the Roman Church, he undertook a war against the Greeks and recovered Apulia, which they had held for a long time. Protected by divine aid, he fought the barbarian nations more with prayers than with force of arms. When Hungary was still pagan, he gave his sister in marriage to its king, Stephen, who was baptized and brought the whole kingdom to the faith. Henry joined matrimony with holy virginity, and when he was near death he restored St. Cunegunda, his wife, as a virgin to her family. Finally, even more famous for his holiness than for his temporal rule, he was called to the reward of the heavenly kingdom in the year 1024, and was added to the number of the Saints by Eugene III.

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