Wawel Cathedral Kraków, Miasto Kraków, Małopolskie, Poland
Vladislas III of Varna (Władysław III Warneńczyk, Ulaszlo I) (October 31, 1424 – November 10, 1444), king of Poland. From the Jagiełłonian dynasty, and son of Vladislas II Jagiełło, Vladislas was king of Poland from 1434 to 1444. In 1440, he was offered the crown of Hungary under the condition of marrying Queen Elisabeth, the pregnant widow of King Albrecht Habsburg. The queen soon gave birth to Vladislas the Posthumous and refused to marry her suitor, almost half her age, and decided to fight for the rights of her son. The struggle for the crown was waged for two years until Vladislas of Poland was finally recognised as king of Hungary, mainly because as a knight he would be able to defend the country against the Turks.
In 1443– 1444, Vladislas III took part in the crusade against the Turks organised by Pope Eugene IV, during which the king was most probably killed in the Battle of Varna, though legends of his miraculous survival circulated for many years (as his body was never recovered). The lost battle ended any meaningful military attempts of helping Constantinople, which was finally taken by the Turks in 1453.p>
Though a defender of the faith and martyr, Vladislas was never beatified nor made a saint. Some sources claim that this happened under the influence of the Habsburgs, who did not want a new saint from a rival dynasty. The most popular explanation of the fact (already quoted about 1470 by Jan Długosz in his Chronicles of the Kingdom of Poland) is that Giulio Cesarini, the papal nuncio, hastened to inform the Holy See that the decisive battle had been lost due to sin committed by the late monarch. Vladislas supposedly spent the night before the battle in the tent of a good-looking Hungarian page. It is impossible to establish for certain whether Vladislas really was homosexual. It is clear, however, that faced with his possible homosexuality, the popes preferred not to take unnecessary risks by canonising him.
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