Patroness of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Divine Redeemer, Patroness of Bakers and Tertiaries
St. Elizabeth was born in 1207, either in Bratislava (Slovakia) or in Sárospatak (East of Hungary), the daughter of Andrew II, King of Hungary. At the age of four she was sent for education to the court of the Landgrave of Thuringia, to whose infant son she was betrothed. As she grew in age, her piety also increased by leaps and bounds. In 1221, she married Louis of Thuringia and in spite of her position at court began to lead an austerely simple life, practiced penance, and devoted herself to works of charity.
Elizabeth’s husband was also much inclined to religion and highly esteemed her virtue, encouraging her in her exemplary life. They had three children when tragedy struck - Louis was killed while fighting with the Crusaders. After his death, Elizabeth left the court, made arrangements for the care of her children, and in 1228, renounced the world, becoming a tertiary of St. Francis. She built the Franciscan hospital at Marburg and devoted herself to the care of the sick until her death at the age of twenty-four in 1231. She was canonized in 1235 by Pope Gregory IX.
PRAYER: God, You taught St. Elizabeth to recognize and serve Christ in the poor. Grant, through her intercession, that we may always lovingly serve the needy and the oppressed. Amen.