St. Judith was born at Sangerhausen in Thuringia which is now central Germany. Her family was rich but she wanted to follow the example of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. In St. Judith's time, many Christian women were influenced by her inspiring example.
When she was just fifteen, Judith was married to a wealthy young nobleman. She tried to be a good Christian wife and was very generous with the poor. Her husband was a good man, but he was happy with his rich and comfortable life.
He also wanted his wife to dress and live like a rich woman so that people would respect them. But Judith gently made him realize that they would have more to give to people less fortunate than themselves if they lived and dressed more simply.
Then Judith's husband died suddenly while he was on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. As a young widow Judith raised her children alone. When the children grew up and didn't need her help any longer, Judith finally gave in to a longing that had been hidden in her heart even during the busy, happy days of her life.
She sold everything she had and moved to Prussia where people would not know that she was from a wealthy family. There she lived as a hermit in a little hut and spent her time praying and taking care of weary travelers who passed by.
She prayed especially for nonbelievers to come to Jesus in faith. She prayed also for the newly baptized Christians to be true to their faith.
"Three things can lead us close to God," she once said. "They are painful physical suffering, being in exile in a foreign land, and being poor by choice because of love for God."
St. Judith died of fever in 1260 at Kulmsee in Prussia. She was named the patroness of Prussia.