St. Elizabeth, the daughter of King Andrew of Hungary was born in Presburg. When she was only thirteen years old, she married Louis, the ruler of Thuringia. St. Elizabeth was a beautiful bride who dearly loved her handsome husband. Louis returned her affection with all his heart. God gave them three children and they were very happy for six years.
She build a hospital at the foot of the mountain where the castle stood and looked after the sick herself. Once when she was taking food to the poor and sick in secret, Prince Louis stopped her and looked under her cloak. The food she was carrying miraculously changed to roses.
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 St. Elizabeth because she had given so much food to the poor.
While Louis was alive, they had not been able to do anything but now they began to trouble her. Within a short time, this beautiful, gentle princess and her three children were sent away from the castle. They suffered hunger and cold.
Yet St. 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.
St. 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 decided 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 in 1231. On her death bed, she was heard to sing softly. She had great confidence that Jesus would take her to himself.
Reflection: Ecclesiastes says that everything is vanity. In this contemporary world, everything is ephemeral and passing. We may have everything we desire and want yet these things are transitory. We cannot bring them when we die that is why in the Psalm God reprimands us that why are seeking for futile things and loving for falsehood when in fact, this things are just temporal and St. Paul reminds that we must set our minds on things above. Let us follow the example of St. Elizabeth of Hungary who never weary of earthly goods but on the celestial reality.
Prayer: O God, by whose gift Saint Elizabeth of Hungary recognized and revered Christ in the poor, grant, through her intercession, that we may serve with unfailing charity the needy and those afflicted. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.