Thursday, November 17, 2011

St Elizabeth of Hungary

Elizabeth married early in her teen years because of an arranged marriage.  Faithful to her husband and their three children, Elizabeth was a woman also dedicated to the poor and needy.  Her daily activities in their palace was an embarrassment to her in-laws.  When her husband went to fight the Crusades, she was left with many responsibilities.  During this time she did much to care not only for the poor but for the sick as well.  She ordered several hospitals to be built.  There she was often, dressing the wounds  and sores of seriously ill patients all the while continuing to provide food and clothing for the poor.

News was received of her husband's death.   At that time she and her children were driven from the palace ... social justice did not fit well with many officials of the kingdom.  Thus it was that she became what we might call a "street person" or a "bag lady."  She had become what she had given so much of her wealth and time to:  a victim of cold and hunger.  However, when her husband's wartime colleagues returned, Elizabeth was given much better care.

Elizabeth was a Third Order Franciscan and a woman of prayer.  Many converts were brought to the faith by her example.  At the age of 24 Elizabeth died.  She is truly an example of a true believer who gave so much to the "least among us."