Tuesday, November 19, 2013
St. Elizabeth of Hungary

Double (1955 Calendar): November 19

St. Elizabeth of Hungary was born a princess, the daughter of King Andrew of Hungary.  She would become the great-aunt of Saint Elizabeth of Portugal.

She married Prince Louis of Thuringa at age 13. St. Elizabeth built a hospital at the foot of the mountain on which her castle stood and tended to the sick herself. Her family and courtiers opposed this, but she insisted she could only follow Christ’s teachings, not theirs. Once when she was taking food to the poor and sick, Prince Louis stopped her and looked under her mantle to see what she was carrying, and miraculously the food had been changed to roses.

Upon the death of Louis, St. Elizabeth sold all that she had and worked to support her four children. Her gifts of bread to the poor, and of a large gift of grain to a famine-stricken Germany, led to her patronage of bakers and related fields. Part of the Matins readings for the Feast of St. Elizabeth relate the extraordinary life she lived, despite being born into wealth:
After husband died (on his way to the Holy War, on the eleventh day of September, 1227.) Then Elizabeth, more utterly to be God's only, laid aside all the garments of earthly state, clad herself in mean raiment, and entered the Third Order of St. Francis, wherein she was a burning and shining light of long suffering and lowliness. (Her brother-in-law) stripped her (and her three little children) of all their goods, and turned them out of their own house. She was deserted by all, and assailed with insults, gibes, and calumnies, but she bore it all with patience, yea, even rejoicing that she suffered such things for God's sake. She gave herself to the meanest services toward the poor and sick, and sought for them the needfuls of life, while she lived herself only on potherbs and vegetables.
Remarkably, she died at the young age of 24. At that time she was the mother of three children, a widow, a Third Order Franciscan, and a role model for all of us. If she did so much in her short life despite the allurements of the world, what is stopping us?


O God of mercy, enlighten the hearts of Your faithful and grant us grace through the prayers of the glorious blessed Elizabeth, so that we may scorn the wealth of the world and see heaven as our joy and consolation. Through our Lord . . . 

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

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