St. Elizabeth of Hungary
This daughter of the king of Hungary was born in 1207. She married Louis, the ruler of Thuringia, while she was very young. (We celebrate the feast of Blessed Louis on September 11.) Elizabeth was a beautiful bride who dearly loved her handsome husband. Louis returned her affection with all his heart. God sent them three children and they were very happy for six years.
Then St. Elizabeth's sorrows began. Louis died of the plague. She was so heart-broken that she cried: "The world is dead to me and all that is joyous in the world." Louis' relatives had never liked Elizabeth because she had given so much food to the poor. While Louis was alive, they had not been able to do anything. Now, however, they could and they did. Within a short time, this beautiful, gentle princess and her three children were sent away from the castle. They suffered hunger and cold. Yet Elizabeth did not complain about her terrible sufferings. Instead she blessed God and prayed with great fervor. She accepted the sorrows just as she had accepted the joys.
Elizabeth's relatives came to her rescue. She and her children had a home once more. Her uncle wanted her to marry again, for she was still very young and attractive. But the saint had determined to give herself to God. She wanted to imitate the poverty of St. Francis. She went to live in a poor cottage and spent the last few years of her life serving the sick and the poor. She even went fishing to try to earn more money for her beloved poor. St. Elizabeth was only twenty-four when she died. On her death bed, she was heard to sing softly. She had great confidence that Jesus would take her to himself. Elizabeth passed away in 1231.
St. Elizabeth had great compassion for the poor. As followers of Christ, we are all called to be moved at the sight of others' sufferings.