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Saint Elizabeth Wooden Statues for Sale; made in Val Gardena. Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Religious woman.

Daughter of Andrew, King of Hungary and Gertrude, noblewoman of Merano, had a short life. Born in 1207, she was betrothed to Ludwig, son and heir of the king of Thuringia. Married at the age of fourteen, mother at fifteen, she was widowed at twenty. Her husband, Ludwig IV died in Otranto waiting to embark with Frederick II for the crusade in the Holy Land. Elizabeth had three children. After the firstborn Ermanno came to the world two children: Sofia and Gertrude, the latter given to the light already orphan of father. At the death of her husband, Elizabeth retired to Eisenach, then in the castle of Pottenstein and finally chose as a home a modest house in Marburg where he built at his own expense a hospital, reducing himself into poverty. Enrolled in the Franciscan Third Order, she offered all of herself to the last ones, visiting the sick twice a day, becoming a beggar and always attributing herself the humblest tasks. Her choice of poverty unleashed the anger of her brothers-in-law who came to deprive her of her children. She died in Marburg, Germany on November 17, 1231. She was canonized by Pope Gregory IX in 1235.

Presburg, Bratislava, 1207 - Marburg, Germany, November 17, 1231
Patronage: Nurses, Charitable Societies, Bakers, Secular Franciscan Order
Etymology: Elizabeth = God is my oath, from Hebrew
Emblem: Basket of bread
Recurrence: November 17

Roman Martyrology: Memory of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, who, while still a young girl, was given in marriage to Ludwig, Count of Thuringia, to whom she bore three children; widowed, after having borne with fortitude of mind serious tribulations, devoted for some time to the meditation of the celestial realities, she retired to Marburg in Germany in a hospital founded by her, embracing poverty and working in the care of the sick and the poor until the last breath exhaled at the age of twenty-five years.

At four years of age, she is already engaged. Her father, King Andrew II of Hungary and Queen Gertrude her mother have promised her in marriage to Ludwig, son and heir of the sovereign of Thuringia (at the time, this German region is an independent lordship, whose sovereign has the title of Landgraf, landgrave). And immediately she is brought to the kingdom of her future husband, to live and grow up there, between the city of Marburg and Wartburg the castle near Eisenach.

In 1217 the landgrave of Thuringia, Hermann I, dies. He dies excommunicated due to political disagreements with the archbishop of Mainz, who is also a secular lord, prince of the Empire. He is succeeded by his son Ludwig, who in 1221 solemnly marries the fourteen-year-old Elizabeth. Now the sovereigns are the two of them. She is called "Elisabeth of Thuringia". In 1222 their first child, Hermann, is born. Two children follow: in 1224 Sofia and in 1227 Gertrude. But this last one comes to the world already orphan of father.

Ludwig of Thuringia has worked to organize the sixth crusade in the Holy Land, because Pope Honorius III has promised to free him from the intrusions of the archbishop of Mainz. He leaves under the command of Emperor Frederick II. But it will not see the Palestine: it kills him a contagious evil to Otranto.

Widowed at the age of twenty with three children, Elizabeth receives back the dowry, and there are those who make plans for her: she can remarry, at that age, or enter a monastery like other queens, to live as a queen, or even as a penitent in prayer, by choice. This is what her confessor suggests. But she listens to Franciscan voices that are heard in Thuringia, to say which way "perfect gladness" can be found. And for the poor she offers the money from her dowry (a hospital will be built). But above all she offers her whole life to the poor. For her, this is self-realization: becoming like them. She visits the sick twice a day, and then collects help by becoming a beggar. And all this while remaining in her condition of widow, of laywoman.

After her death, her confessor would reveal that, while her husband was still alive, she devoted herself to the sick, even the repulsive ones: "She fed some, provided a bed for others, and others she carried on her own shoulders, always doing her utmost, without ever coming into conflict with her husband. She placed her dedication within a framework of normality, which included even small "external" gestures, inspired not by simple benevolence, but by true respect for the "inferiors": such as being called by the women of the service. She was also careful not to overdo personal penances, which could weaken her and make her less ready to help. She lived as a poor woman and fell ill, even renouncing her return to Hungary, as her parents, king and queen, would have wished.

She dies in Marburg at the age of 24, immediately "shouted saint" by many voices, that induce pope Gregorio IX to order the investigation on the prodigies that are attributed to her. A job made difficult by complications also tragic: the confessor of her dies murdered; the archbishop of Mainz tries to sabotage the investigations. But Rome makes them resume. And they arrive to the canonization in 1235 always to work of Pope Gregorio. Her remains, stolen from Marburg during the conflicts at the time of the Protestant Reformation, are now kept in part in Vienna. She is co-patroness of the Secular Franciscan Order together with St. Ludwig.