Born in the year, 1207, she was the daughter of the King of Hungary. At age three, she was betrothed to the Prince of Thuringia (part of Germany). Growing up, she began developing a strong prayer life and desire to help the poor. Married to Prince Louis, they would have four children.
She was known to be a loving mother, a person of deep faith, of prayer, and great charity. She endowed a hospital and regularly provided food for the poor in her city. And she believed that giving charity should be a hands on experience. She could be seen both serving food to the poor, and caring for the sick.
She encountered Franciscan friars; and was impressed with them and their way of life. She joined the lay Franciscans; now known as the Secular Franciscan Order. Her desire to live humbly, helping the poor, did not win her friends among the nobles of her husband’s court. When he died on his way back from the Crusades, they took advantage of the moment. They stripped her of her rightful assets, and cast her and her children from the palace.
She lived in poor accommodations, continued her charitable work. Finally, her supporters were able obtain better living quarters, supplies and clothing. She continued her work among the poor.
She passed away in 1231. Four years later, she was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. She would be named as patroness of the Secular Franciscans; and of Catholic Charities.
Father, you helped Elizabeth of Hungary to recognize and honor Christ in the poor of the world.
Let her prayers help us to serve our brothers and sisters in trouble and need.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your son, who lives and reign with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen!
From the Proper Offices of Franciscan Saints and Blessed in the Liturgy of Hours.