Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
the daughter of Andrew II of Hungary and Gertrude of Andechs-Meran, was
born at Pressburg (Bratislava) or Saros-Patak, Hungary, and when four
was brought to the court of Landgrave Herman I of Thuringia at Wartburg
Castle, near Eisenach, as the betrothed of his son Ludwig. They were
married in 1221 when Ludwig had become landgrave, had four children,
and were an ideal married couple. She became known for her great
charity, built a hospital at the foot of their castle, and another one.
They were married six years when Ludwig went on a crusade with Emperor
Frederick II and died of the plague at Otranto. She was heartbroken,
and to add to her troubles she was accused of mismanaging his estate
because of her great charity; she was forced to leave Wartburg,
probably forced out by her brother-in-law. She made provision for her
children and in 1228 became a Franciscan tertiary. She lived for a time
at Marburg and devoted herself to caring for the sick, the aged, and
the poor at a hospice there. She led a life of exceptional
poverty and humility and was allowed back to the castle four years
before her death by the usurper, who also recognized her son's
succession to the title of landgrave. She died at Marburg on November
17, not yet twenty-four, and soon miracles were reported at her tomb.
She was canonized by Pope Gregory IX in 1235.
OF ST. ELIZABETH OF HUNGARY