Saint Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231)

for November 17

Saint Elizabeth was born in 1207 as a princess of Hungary. She lived there until she was four, and then went to live with her betrothed, Louis, the Landgrave of Thuringia. When Franciscan friars arrived in Germany, Elizabeth not only learned about the principles of Francis of Assisi, but she started to live them as well. Louis was not upset by his wife's charity, because he was so in love with her. When famine, floods, and plague wrought havoc on the people of Thuringia, Elizabeth distributed alms in all parts of their territory, even giving away state robes and ornaments to the poor, which angered her in-laws. Elizabeth's life changed drastically when Louis died en route to join the Sixth Crusade. After her husband's death, Elizabeth left court and moved to Marburg. Tradition says that she was cast out by Henry, Louis's brother. She died at the age of 24 in Marburg, and was canonized in 1235.

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At one time or another, we all have disagreements with our family members. Saint Elizabeth disagreed with her family about her decision to help the poor through any means necessary, including giving away family possessions to raise money during times of trouble. Think of your relationship with your family. Are there things that you could work on to strengthen your relationship? Ask for God's help to love each of your family members more, and to truly show them respect.


I want to honor and respect my family, God. Help me to love better. (Taken from “Good News Day by Day: Bible Reflections for Teens.”)