Elizabeth of Hungary, Saint

born 1207, probably Pressburg, Hung.
died Nov. 17, 1231, Marburg, Thuringia; canonized 1235; feast day November 17

Princess of Hungary canonized for her devotion to the poor.

She married Louis IV of Thuringia, who died of plague in 1227 en route to the Sixth Crusade. She then joined the Third Order of St. Francis and devoted her life to the poor and sick, for whom she built a hospice. As a young girl, Elizabeth is said to have stolen bread, which she gave to the poor, and later distributed grain during famines. In the best-known legend, which is often depicted in art, Elizabeth met her husband unexpectedly on one of her charitable errands; the loaves of bread she was carrying were miraculously changed into roses. This transformation convinced him of the worthiness of her kind endeavours, about which he had been chiding her.

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▪ princess of Hungary
German  Sankt Elisabeth Von Ungarn  
born 1207, probably Pressburg, Hungary [now Bratislava, Slovakia]
died Nov. 17, 1231, Marburg, Thuringia [Germany]; canonized 1235; feast day November 17

      princess of Hungary whose devotion to the poor (for whom she relinquished her wealth) made her an enduring symbol of Christian charity.

      The daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary, she was betrothed in infancy to Louis IV, son of Hermann I, landgrave of Thuringia, at whose court she was brought up. The marriage, which occurred when Louis succeeded his father in 1221, proved to be ideal but brief. Louis died in 1227 of plague at Otranto, Italy, en route to the Sixth Crusade. When his brother Henry assumed the regency, Elizabeth left and took refuge with her uncle, Bishop Eckbert of Bamberg. No longer caring for position or wealth, she joined the Third Order of St. Francis, a lay Franciscan group. At Marburg she built a hospice for the poor and sick, to whose service she devoted the rest of her life. She put herself under the spiritual direction of Konrad Von Marburg, an ascetic of incredible harshness and severity, who belonged to no specific order.

      Among the best-known legends about Elizabeth is the one often depicted in art showing her meeting her husband unexpectedly on one of her charitable errands; the loaves of bread she was carrying were miraculously changed into roses. This transformation convinced him of the worthiness of her kind endeavours, about which he had been chiding her.

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Universalium. 2010.

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