Salome was a daughter of the royal family of Prince
Lescon V, and a sister of Boleslas the Chaste, the virginal spouse of Blessed
Kinga (July 23). She was born at Crakow, the capital of Poland, in 1201. At
the age of 3, according to the custom of the time, she was betrothed to Prince
Colman of Hungary, a brother of St. Elizabeth of Thuringia (Nov 17), and was
sent to the court of King Andrew II in order to be raised according to the
customs of the country.
The little girl proved to be a child of grace and a
model to all with whom she associated. When the day of her marriage arrived,
both spouses resolved to preserve their virginity. They preserved their vow
intact to the end of their lives.
The pious couple vied with each other in their
practices of piety and penance. With the consent of her husband, Salome
received the habit of the Third Order of St. Francis at the hands of her
confessor, a Franciscan friar. Following her example, many of the ladies at
court renounced worldly pomp and vanity, and the palace took on the appearance
of a convent. Even when her husband became king of Galicia, and Salome, in
addition to the crown that was here by birth, received a royal crown, she
remained the simple daughter of St. Francis in the Order of
King Coleman fell in battle against the Tatars in
1225. Salome then resolved to consecrate herself to God, and used her wealth
in supporting the poor and in building churches. In 1240 she entered the
convent of the Poor Clares at Zawichost. The convent was later removed to the
vicinity of Crakow, to protect it against the inroads of the Tatars, and it
was known as St. Mary of the Stairs. Here Salome continued to live for 28
years, highly respected by her fellow sisters because of her virtue. On
several occasions she was elected to the office of abbess.
When she was 67 years old, she was seized with an
illness one day during holy Mass, and she predicted that her death would
follow shortly. Admonishing those about her deathbed to practice charity and
harmony, and faithfully observe the rule, she died November 17, 1268, favored
and fortified in her last hour with a vision of our Lady and the Child Jesus.
A heavenly sign that she was receiving a third crown, the best of them all,
was the fact that her sisters in religion, at the moment of her death, saw a
brilliant start rise from her lips and mount to heaven.
When her body was exhumed seven months after
burial, it was found incorrupt and giving forth a sweet odor. She was then
entombed in the Franciscan Church at Crakow beside her husband, King Colman.
Many miracles occurred in testimony of her sanctity, whereupon Pope Clement X
ON PURITY OF HEART
1. Consider how precious is
the virtue of purity of heart, which shone so brightly in Blessed Salome.
Christ pronounced Salome blessed in advance when He said: "Blessed are the
clean of heart, for they shall see God" (Matt 5:18). Blessed are such souls
even here on earth, for they possess that interior bliss which results from a
good conscience and from the right order of things preserved despite the
warring emotions of the heart. The pure of heart also win the affections of
their fellowmen, just as little children are believed by everyone. The
greatest blessing of purity, however, is the assurance of eternal happiness;
for, says Eternal Truth, "they shall see God." -- Should we not be eager to
acquire this precious virtue?
2. Consider what contributes purity of heart.
It considers, not only in rejecting all indecent, impure desires and
affections, but also in conquering all the other passions which stain the
soul, especially injustice and avarice, pride and vanity, lying and deceit. In
answer to the question as to who will be admitted to the vision of God, the
Psalmist says: "The innocent in hands, and clean of heart, who has not taken
his soul in vain, nor sworn deceitfully to his neighbor" (Ps 23:4). -- How do
matters stand with you?
3. Consider how we can preserve purity of heart. Be
ever mindful of the high origin of your soul. A person of high birth needs
only to remember his distinguished extraction in order to refrain from doing
anything unbecoming. Your soul is of utmost distinguished origin. It has been
created by God Himself according to His image and likeness; it has come forth
from baptism a child of God and an heir of heaven. If sensuality, pride, or
avarice attack your soul and threaten to stain it, say with Blessed Salome: "I
am of too noble an extraction, I am too distinguished in birth to yield to
anything of that sort," and then banish the tempter with contempt. -- Mindful,
however, of your weakness, so not fail to plead with the prophet: "Create a
clean heart in me, O God!" (Ps 50:12).
PRAYER OF THE CHURCH
O God, who didst combine in
Blessed Salome contempt of an earthly kingdom with the luster of virginity in
the married state, grant, we beseech Thee, that imitating her example, we may
serve Thee with a pure and humble heart and deserve to attain to the
imperishable crown of glory in heaven. Through Christ our Lord.
The Franciscan Book
of Saints, ed. by
Marion Habig, ofm., © 1959 Franciscan Herald