Saint Hunna (born, unknown; died 679) is called “The Holy Washerwoman”.  Saint Hunna was born into a privileged life, the daughter of a duke in Alsace. She matured and married Huno of Hunnaweyer, a nobleman, and together they settled in the diocese of Strasbourg (now France). Together, they produced one son, Saint Deodatus, who eventually became a monk (and then a saint!). Saint 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.

But this didn’t seem to be enough for Saint Hunna. In her prayer, she felt called to do more, to serve others. By the Lord, her eyes were opened to the poverty and general squalor that the peasants and servants lived in… and she felt moved to assist. Hunna began making daily trips from the estate into the local villages and fields, visiting her poor neighbors, offering them religious instruction, and working for them. At first, she simply offered to do their laundry, earning her the title, “holy washerwoman.” Hunna would travel from home to home, collecting soiled clothing, and then 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—cooking, cleaning, childcare, even more demanding physical labor. She also instructed in ways of cleanliness, assisting with hygiene. Saint Hunna regularly performed the greatest act of service, bathing those who were unable to bathe themselves.

She was canonized in 1520 by Pope Leo X and her feast is April 15.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. God Bless this physical charities from a woman who spent her time in service of people in need on behalf of The Holy Trinity. Amen and thank you dear Saint Hunna

  2. What an amazing example of a truly good life. Quite remarkable especially when you consider her wealth and privilege. Saint Hunna was born into a hierarchy that considered the poor and working classes as almost of no consequence and would have barely given their plight a second thought, let alone work and care for them in that saintly way, and all for the love of God. Wonderful and inspiring life we would all do well to emulate. ST Hunna pray for us.

  3. St.Hunna,,,,how clear you could see, anyone and everyone can be of service to our God!
    Not only you but your son was sainted,,,,,God saw so much good in your family. May we all be as caring and thoughtful!

  4. It continues, this beautiful humble version of service. May God bless Loretta Doyle. Wife of an oil industry executive who travelled a lot. Mother of two young adult children, both adopted. Participant in a weekly RC church mother’s group, who offered counsel, friendship, books on saints. She drove to my home to collect laundry when I owned no car or appliances, when I had 3 sons within 15 months. She quietly collected a bucket or two from my front porch, took it home, washed/dried/folded everything and returned it early the next morning, to the same porch. She wanted no one else in the mother’s group to be aware of this service (they offered rides to/from church or meals, etc.), she did not want my sons to be aware of her toil, and often I would find new items mixed in with the old, or little simple gifts placed atop the clean laundry for my twins or my eldest. Never have I experienced the Lord washing my feet more than in those moments, through that woman, more than 20 yrs ago.

  5. Blessed Hunna, Your example to all of us is simply wonderful. We never have to ask what we could do. Lots! Hunna, please pray for us because of our sins, that we, too, may follow your example. May God bless you and may you pray for us.

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