Polish contemplative; b. Kamien, Silesia, 1203; d. Aug. 29, 1259. Her father was Stanislaus, count of Prandata-Odrowaz; her mother Anna, of the noble family of Jaxa-Okolski. St. hyacinth and Bl. ceslaus of Silesia were her first cousins. At age 16 she entered the convent of premonstratensian nuns of Zwierzyniec near Cracow. Her biographers picture her as a model of mortification and of heroic virtues. It is claimed that she had a vision of Mary bearing the body of Hyacinth, who had just died, from his Dominican priory to heaven. This experience intensified her contemplative life, and pious custom labels the hill near her convent where she retired to pray Mt. St. Bronislawa. She died two years after Hyacinth. Her body, buried in the convent church, was lost during the Swedish invasion of Poland, but it was rediscovered in the seventeenth century. Her convent was rebuilt and it became a center of prayer for the Polish nation. Cracow has always considered her a saint. In 1839 Pope Gregory XVI approved her cultus. She was known as the patroness of a happy death and of a good reputation. Cardinal Hlond (d. 1948), the primate of Poland, encouraged the Poles to ask Bronisława, who had saved them from various plagues, to protect them from the danger of the worse contagion of atheism and immorality.
Feast: Aug. 30.
Bibliography: Blogoslawiona Bronisława, ed. j. r. bar (Warsaw 1984). j. chrzaszcz, Drei schlesische Landesheilige (Breslau 1897). a. gonet, Novena in Honor of Bl. B. (Lyndora, Pa. 1936). p. david, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 10:841.
[l. l. rummel]