St. Elizabeth

St. Elizabeth (Elizabeth of Thuringia), daughter of King Andrew of Hungary, was born in 1207. At the age of four, she was betrothen to Count Ludwig of Thuringia, whom she married when she was 14 years old. They had four children together. She was very religious and merciful. She founded almshouses and hospitals where she helped the gravely ill. After her husband died, his brother left her with nothing and chased her out of Wartburg. She lived in total poverty and slept in a stable because the new feudal lord forbade his subjects to house her. Later on, her relatives in Marburg helped her, but Elizabeth continued to live in strict asceticism and poverty as a nun of the Order of St. Francis; she took care of the poor and ill and founded a large hospital and almshouse for them. She died at the age of twenty-four and was canonized four years after her death. She is a protector of charity associations, abandoned women, widows, orphans, almsmen, the unjustly persecuted and the poor as well as of bakers and lace-makers. Her attributes are a rose, almsman, jug and alms.


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