Roman Catholic Saint. Also known as Saint Elisabeth of Hungary. Landgravine of Thuringia. Daughter of King Andrew II. of Hungary and his first wife Gertrude of Andechs-Meran. Several saints belonged to her family. Saint Hedwig was her mothers sister and St. Isabel of Portugal was her great-niece. At the age of four she was betrothed to son of the thuringian Landgrave named Hermann and was send to Thuringia to be tutored there. Her future husband died in 1216 and her father in law in the following year. The younger son Ludwig succeeded his father and fell in love with Elisabeth. They got married in 1221. They had a happy marriage and she gave birth to 3 children. In 1225 she had the first contact with Franciscans monks. She supported them where ever possible. With her help the Franciscans founded a monastery in Eisenach in 1225. She cared for the poor and used the states money. According to the legend, Louis at first desired to curtail her excessive charities, and forbade her unbounded gifts to the poor. One day, returning from hunting, he met his wife descending from the Wartburg with a heavy bundle filled with bread. He sternly bade her to open it; she did so, and he saw nothing but a mass of red roses. He never bothered her again. Ludwig joined the Teutonic Order, took the cross and joined the 5th crusade. He became ill and died in Brindisi. Elisabeth brother in law Heinrich Raspe, who acted as regent for her son, chased her with her three infant children away from the Wartburg on the pretext that she was wasting the estates by her alms. She found refuge with her maternal uncle the Bishop of Bamberg. He wanted her to marry again but she was against it and even refused the proposal of Emperor Friedrich II. In 1229 she moved to Marburg where her confessor, the bigoted persecutor Conrad von Magdeburg lived. She build a hospital with the money she inherited from her husband and even worked there. In November 1231 she became ill and died soon after. Only four years after her death she was canonized by Pope Gregory IX. on account of the frequent miracles reported to have been performed at her tomb. In the following years her grave increased to such importance that at times it could be compared to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela. In 1539 her grave was opened after an order of Philipp of Hesse, who had become a Protestant, to end the pilgrimages. He ordered to remove the relics and all that was sacred to Elizabeth. Her head was earlier brought to the St. Elisabeth Cloister in Vienna. Her catholic feast day is November 17. Her protestant feast day is on November 19.
Bio by: Lutetia
Ludwig IV of Thuringia