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St. Henry was born to the Duke of Bavaria and his wife, the daughter of the King of Burgundy, in 972. He received a good education from St. Wolfgang and at the age of 23, succeeded as Duke of Bavaria. His cousin passed away seven years later and he became the elected emperor.
Henry was not happy about becoming emperor but brought a strong intellect, devotion to God and care for the people into his reign. He sought the greater glory of God in all things and showed ecclesiastical discipline with the Bishops. Piety and charity were core values to him and loyalty to the Pope was important. In 1014, Henry visited Rome where he saw Pope Benedict VIII and received the imperial crown.
He was a responsible monarch whose passion for justice was equal to his religious zeal. He and his wife had no children and some account claim their lived in perpetual chastity. Together, they established many pious foundations, supporting many churches and monasteries and making provisions to bring relief to the poor.
St. Henry is the patron saint of the childless, the handicapped, and those rejected by religious order. His feast day is July 13.