On Friday it’s International Women’s Day and to mark this we’ll be focusing on a different female Saint depicted in our stained glass windows each day this week, leading up to the day.
Today it’s Saint Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231). Let’s look at her life.
Saint Elizabeth was born in 1207 and was the daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary. In 1221 she married the Landgrave of Thuringia, Louis IV, and they had a happy family life together and had three children.
Throughout her life she befriended and served the poor around her. Sadly, in 1227, Louis died of plague in a Crusade, and she was driven from the court by her brother-in-law. She eventually settled in Marburg and, although poor herself, continued to minister to the poor and sick, soon becoming an early Franciscan.
Unfortunately she found herself persecuted by a domineering confessor, Conrad, and spent her days carrying out the menial tasks of spinning, carding, cleaning and fishing to help the poor, especially children and orphans. She also nursed in a hospital that she herself had endowed and cared personally for the sick, especially lepers.
She died at the young age of 24, and her life is marked with a feast day on November 17th each year.
There is also a great legend about her being miraculously saved from death, as shown in the Cathedral window: When stopped in the act of carrying bread from the castle to beggars, she unfolded her cloak and it was found to be filled, not with forbidden food, but miraculously with roses.