Blessed Gisela of Hungary

Official memorial: 7 May

Gisela, Bavarian duchess, was born around 980. Her parents were Henry II, Duke of Bavaria and Gisela of Burgundy. She was raised by Saint Wolfgang of Regensburg, Benedictine monk. Gisela was to become a nun but when she was asked to marry Stephen, she accepted. Thus she married the son of Géza, Grand Prince of the Hungarians, in 996.

In her new country, Gisela played a fundamental role in spreading the Christian faith and the Western Culture. She founded churches, convents, and provided them with liturgical objects and with vestments that she herself had made.

Her marriage with Stephen was characterised by mutual admiration and affection. Gisela often accompanied her husband on his journeys around the country, accepting the difficulties thereof. She was merciful and generous with the poor. The chronicles praise her meekness, charity and deep piety. Following the death of her son and her husband, she was treated unjustly, even shamefully, however, she bore it patiently and humbly. At last she returned to Bavaria with her attendants, and she joined the Benedictine convent in Passau. She became abbess and died there in 1059.

She is widely venerated both in Bavaria and in Hungary. Her tomb is a destination of pilgrims. She was beatified in 1975.

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