Saint Elizabeth of Hungary was born in 1207, she was the daughter of Andrew the King of Hungary. As a young girl she was given in marriage to Louis, Landgrave of Thuringia. Saint Elizabeth bore Louis three beautiful children God’s gifts to both their lives. Saint Elizabeth was assiduous with meditating on the things of heaven. She devoted her time and talents to prayer and meditation. Saint Elizabeth embraced a life of poverty after her husband’s death, for the love of the Lord she erected a hospital in which she personally served the sick. At the hospital she gave charitable assistance to all no matter who they were who sought aid. Through her husband’s approval she helped not only at the hospital but throughout all the confines of her husband’s jurisdiction for the poor. She depleted the revenues accuring her husband’s four principalities to the point where it no longer existed, for the poor. She went to the extent to help the poor sell all her jewelry and all her fine garments. To Saint Elizabeth it was always her custom to pay each morning and evening a personal visit to all the sick. She took personal care for the most loathsome with illnesses and the afflicted. She personally feed some, putting others to bed, also gently carrying some in her arms and performing many acts of love for them. For all that Saint Elizabeth had done for the poor, sick and afflicted, her husband showed no displeasure. After her husband’s death she went in search for the highest perfection where she wrung for her director with many tears for his permission to go begging door to door which her director granted.
One time on a Good Friday all the altars were stripped, Saint Elizabeth put her hands on the altar in one of the chapels of her town where the Friars Minor had taken up residence. In the presence of all the people she renounced her own Will and all the allurements of the world and all the things our Jesus advised us in the Gospel to leave behind. After she renounced all she foresaw that she could never become engrossed in the tumult of the world and it’s ostentation in the land where she had lived in while her husband was alive. There were many times when Saint Elizabeth neglected her own table because she was more focused on the sick and infirmed. Saint Elizabeth’s Spiritual Director confirms he has never seen a woman very absorbed in contemplation that this was a very rare. Many Religious men and woman frequently saw Saint Elizabeth coming from private prayer with her face glowing with marvelous radiance and rays of light flashing from her eyes like the rays of the sun.
Before Saint Elizabeth died her Spiritual Director Conrad of Marburg heard her confession. He asked her what did she do with all of her possessions. “Her reply was that everything belonged to the poor and she asked him to give everything to them except the cheap tunic she wore to which she wished to buried with. She then received Holy Viaticum and until evening frequently spoke about the excellent things she heard in the Sermons. Then commending all present most devoutly to God she breathed forth her soul as if she were gently falling asleep. She died in Marburg in the year 1231.