St. Elizabeth of Hungary – November 17th

St. Elizabeth was born in 1207. Her mother Gertrude was murdered in 1213. She had an arranged marriage and married young. Her husband Ludwig, supported her efforts in Charity to live out the Gospel using her position as queen. The politically powerful couple embraced a life of remarkable generosity toward the poor. They had three children, two of whom went on to live as members of the nobility, although one of them –her only son– died young. The third eventually entered religious life. In 1226, while Ludwig was attending to political affairs in Italy, Elizabeth took charge of distributing aid to victims of disease and flooding that struck Thuringia. She took charge of caring for the afflicted, even when this required giving up the royal family’s own clothes and goods. Elizabeth arranged for a hospital to be built, and is said to have provided for the needs of nearly a thousand desperately poor people on a daily basis. Ludwig died of illness and Elizabeth vowed never to remarry. She used her remaining money to build another hospital, where she attended to the sick almost constantly. Sending away her servants, she joined the Third Order of St. Francis. Working with the ill, she became sick and died in November of 1231. After her death, miracles began to occur at her grave near the hospital. She was declared a saint only four years later. St. Elizabeth of Hungary, pray for us!

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