Saint Elizabeth of Hungary: Patroness of Secular Franciscans

On November 17, we celebrate the memory of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary or Thuringia (1207–1231), a Franciscan laywoman who is venerated today as patroness of Secular Franciscans and of the many congregations of women and men following the Franciscan Third Order Regular Rule.

Born in Hungary, raised in Germany

Elizabeth was born in Hungary in 1207, probably in the castle of Sárospatak, a daughter of King Andrew II. She did not see much of her native land because she was sent away at age four to be raised with her future husband, the heir to the sovereign county of Thuringia, at the Wartburg Castle, near Eisenach, Germany. Their marriage was celebrated in 1221 when Elizabeth was 14.

St Elizabeth of Hungary Wartburg Castle 800pxlsThe Wartburg Castle outside Eisenach, Germany, where Elizabeth spent most of her life., later became famous as the place where, at the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther translated the New Testament

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