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April 15

St Hunna of Alsace - April 15

Saint Hunna of Alsace
“The Holy Washerwoman”
(7th Century – 679)

No quote available for Saint Hunna of Alsace

Saint Hunna of Alsace

Her Early Years

Hunna (also known as Huna, Huva, Una, and Unna) was born in the 7th century in the Alsace region (part of modern France). She was the daughter of a Duke of Alsace and and grew up in a noble and privileged environment.

Married and Mom of Deodatus

Hunna married Huno of Hunnaweyer, a nobleman and aristocrat. Together, they settled in the diocese of Strasbourg (now France) and had a son. Her family appears to have been influenced by Bishop Saint Deodatus of Nevers, because Hunna’s son was named for and baptized by him. Hunna was devoted to the Lord, raising her son with constant teaching, and living the virtues of the faith. She spent her days caring for her home and estate, and in prayer, while her husband traveled on diplomatic and political missions. Her Son, Deodatus eventually became a monk (and then a saint himself like his mother!).

“The Holy Washerwoman”

Hunna was a devout and pious woman who dedicated her life to the service of God and others. She was known for her great generosity and charity, particularly towards the poor and less fortunate. One of her notable acts of kindness was providing assistance to those in need by helping with their laundry. Regardless of a person’s social class or station, Hunna willingly lent a helping hand to her neighbors. At first, Hunna simply offered to do their laundry, earning her the title, “holy washerwoman.” Hunna would travel from home to home, collecting soiled clothing. Then, she would spend the better part of each day washing and scrubbing the clothing clean. When the clothing was too dirty, or too threadbare to mend, she would replace it with a new article.

As time went on, her washing service expanded to any task that her neighbors needed help with – from cooking, cleaning, childcare, to even more demanding physical labor. She also instructed in ways of cleanliness, assisting with hygiene. Hunna regularly performed the greatest act of service, bathing those who were unable to bathe themselves.

Hunna also donated her own property to various monasteries and generously financed the construction of churches in her community. Her actions exemplified her deep commitment to God and the spiritual needs of her fellow Christians.

Her Death

Hunna died in 679 (exact date unknown) in Hunawir, Alsace (in modern France) of natural causes, where her remains were buried until April 15, 1520, when they were relocated. It is interesting to note that a holy and healing well was established near her shrine, serving as a testament to her holiness and the miraculous graces associated with her intercession. Unfortunately, during the Reformation, her relics were destroyed, yet her memory and legacy continued to inspire many faithful individuals.

So many miracles were attributed to her that Pope Leo X canonized her in 1520. 

Born :                   7th century in an unknown location in Alsace (modern France)

Died:                    679 in Hunawir, Alsace (modern France)

Beatified:            Pre-Congregation

Canonized:         1520 by Pope Leo X

Feast Day:           April 15

Patron Saint:      Laundresses; Laundry Workers; Washerwomen

Source:

Reflection 

Despite her noble background, Saint Hunna of Alsace humbly served others without seeking recognition or praise. At first, she simply offered to do their laundry, earning her the title of “the holy washerwoman.” Then, Saint Hunna, like Jesus at the Last Supper, regularly performed the greatest act of service, washing those who were unable to bathe themselves. Her example challenges us to embrace humility in our own lives and to serve others with sincerity and humility, putting the needs of others before our own.

What humble and simple acts will you conduct today to aid others in need of life’s comforts like Saint Hunna of Alsace did imitating Jesus’s washing of the disciples ‘feet?

Prayers

Saint Hunna of Alsace,

You, who dedicated your life to washing the clothes of the poor and bathing the sick, provide us an example of compassion and humility to inspire us today.

Intercede for us so that we may follow your example of selfless service and reach out to those in need with love and compassion.

Help us to embrace humility in our actions and may we, like you, be instruments of God’s love and mercy in the world.

Pray for us, that we may be filled with the same spirit of generosity and kindness that guided your life.

Saint Hunna of Alsace, pray for us. Amen.

Saint Links 

A Dictionary Of Saintly Women, Volume 1 by Agnes B. C. Dunbar – St. Hunna

America Needs Fatima – Saint Hunna

Catholic News Agency – St. Hunna Feast day: Apr 15

Catholic Online – St. Hunna

CatholicSaints.Info – Saints of the Day – Hunna of Alsace, Matron – by Katherine I Rabenstein

Catholic365 – Saint Hunna: The Holy Washerwoman and Patron Saint of Laundry Workers

Find a Grave – Saint Hunna

Go to Mary – Saint Hunna

Lives of the Lady Saints – April 15. Hunna, The Holy Milkmaid

Melanie Rigney – Hunna

Morning Offering – St. Hunna

Reason2BCatholic – Saints Alive! | St. Hunna of Alsace

Saints, Feast, Family – The Story of Saint Hunna

Saint Mary’s Press – Saint Hunna (d.679)

The Path to Sainthood – Saint Hunna

uCatholic – Saint Hunna

Video Link

Saint Hunna (April 15) – YouTube (Catherine Weeks)