Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
Patron of Baking, Knitting, Sewing and Crocheting
Feast Day: November 17th
In the 13th Century Elizabeth of Hungary (Liz) was the daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary and was betrothed at age 4, which sure was early! The first boy she was to marry died at an early age so it was then decided that Liz would marry his older brother, Lou, who later became King Louis IV. Liz’s early married life as a Queen was happy and she had 3 children. Sadly, her husband died from the plague while on a crusade with Frederick II. Liz’s life was then thrown in turmoil since her brother-in-law, Henry, threw her and her children (including her son, the rightful heir!) out of the Wartburg Castle. He “evicted” Liz because she was too generous; Henry was concerned Liz would squander Wartburg’s budget.
Homeless, Liz selflessly found ways to provide for her children and became a Franciscan tertiary. Liz established a hostel and a hospital and worked tirelessly providing for others. Liz wound up under the tutelage of the ruthless Conrad of Marburg who forced Liz to endure extreme hardship. Liz was devoted to serving the poor and when she had the opportunity to return to a life of privilege back in Hungary she declined because she preferred serving others. Liz would sew clothes for the poor, make ovens, bake bread, and teach the poor how to fish for, or, create, food!
Conrad’s tyranny included frequently beating Liz but she was completely devoted and said that after suffering Conrad’s cruelties, “she rose like the grass after the rain.” Liz’s tireless and blind loyalty proved to be too much for her and she died at age 24. Only 4 years later she was beatified and later became known as Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. In art, she is often shown tending to the poor. Remember Saint Liz to honor people like her, who are still committed to helping others make, bake, and break, bread today! ©1998