Elisabeth of HUNGARY or of THURINGIA (1207-1231)

Elisabeth of Hungary http://www.parrocchiadonbosco.it

Daughter of the King of Hungary Andrew II and Gertrude of Merano, at the age of 14 she is married to Loudovic IV of Thuringia. She is very princely dressed, not to offend her husband, but she keeps her heavenly spouse near her by “penance” and serves him by helping widows, children, the sick, prisoners. Mother at 15 years old, at 20 she is already a widow with three children. After the death of the husband in 1227, because of the plague, she refuses to remarry and she retires subsequently in two castles, but in the end she chooses a modest home in Marburg (Germany) where, in 1227, she built a hospital that she maintains with her resources – which impoverished her totally- where she dedicates herself entirely to the care of the poor and the lepers. She accepts the poverty that came and works the wool or even begs alms to help others. Her choice of poverty unleashes the fury of her brothers-in-law who even manage to deprive her of her children. She integrates herself into the Third Franciscan Order, thus dedicating herself to the most destitute, by visiting ill people twice a day and by assuming the most humble tasks. One does not speak of her as a beguine, but we can assume that before she joined the Third Order she had these characteristics.
She was famous for the splendour of her miracles and her charitable works spread throughout the centuries. She dies in Marburg on November 17, 1231 and was canonized by Pope Gregory IX in 1235. Her worship will be fixed on the day of her death.
She is often chosen as patroness of beguinages, as for example by that of Antwerpen (Antwerp-Belgium)