St. Judith of Prussia, patroness of widows
The saint of the day for May 5 is St. Judith, also known as Jutta. Judith was born at Sangerhausen in Thuringia, which is now central Germany. Judith was married at the age of fifteen to a wealthy, young nobleman. As a wife and mother, she tried to emulate St. Elizabeth of Hungary, and was very generous to the poor. Although quite wealthy, she lived and dressed simply. Judith’s holiness served as an inspiring example to her family who followed in her footsteps.
While they were on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, her husband died quite suddenly and Judith became a single mother. Each child eventually entered a monastery upon reaching a suitable age, and this left Judith able to pursue a more austere religious way of life.
Like her model, St. Elizabeth, Judith became a member of the Third Order of St. Francis. She sold everything she had and moved to Prussia where people would not know that she was from a wealthy family. There she lived as a hermit in a little hut and spent her time praying for the conversion of nonbelievers and for newly baptized Christians to be true to their faith. She also took care of weary travelers who passed by. St. Judith died of fever in 1260 at Kulmsee in Prussia. The basics of her holiness included: simplicity, humility, love, kindness, and compassion. She is the patroness of Prussia and of widows.
Quote: “Three things can lead us close to God. They are painful physical suffering, being in exile in a foreign land, and being poor by choice because of love for God.”
~ St. Judith of Prussia