Saint Elizabeth, called by her people “the dear Saint Elizabeth,” was the daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary and the beloved spouse of the landgrave Louis of Thuringia. She was the good angel of the landgrave’s court; but her heroic virtues were often a reproach to others less holy, and she was tried by many persecutions. When about twenty years of age Elizabeth was deprived of the protection of her devoted husband. He started with his liege lord, Frederick II, to join the Third Crusade, but died of fever before he reached Palestine. His brother cruelly turned Elizabeth out of doors with her four children, the youngest being a babe at the breast. The holy young widow rejoiced to suffer these pains with her despised Lord. She was ultimately restored to her rights, but led a life of wonderful penance and humility to the end, enrolled in the Third Order of Saint Francis. In her last agony she sang like an angel, and died November 19, 1231, having just completed her twenty-fourth year. Many miracles are recorded in her life.
Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
Dear Saint Elizabeth, you
were always poor in spirit,
most generous toward the
poor, faithful to your
husband, and fully
consecrated to your Divine
Grant your help to widows
and widowers and keep
them faithful to their
heavenly Lord. Teach them
to make use of their time
in the service of God our Lord.
Almighty God, by whose grace your servant Elizabeth of Hungary recognized and honored Jesus in the poor of this world:
Grant that we, following her example,
may with love and gladness serve those in any need or trouble, in the name and for the sake of through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Prayer of Widows and Widowers
Lord Jesus Christ, during your earthly life You showed compassion on those who had lost a loved one. Turn your compassionate eyes on me in my sorrow
over the loss of my life’s partner. Take him/her into your heavenly kingdom as a reward for his/her earthly service.
Help me to cope with my loss by relying on You even more than before.
Teach me to adapt to the new conditions of my life and to continue doing
your will as I see it. Enable me to avoid withdrawing from life
and make me give myself to others more readily, so that I may continue to live in your grace and to do the tasks that You have laid out for me. Amen.
Prayer to St. Elizabeth of Hungary
Blessed Elizabeth, vessel elect of exalted virtues, thou dost show forth to the world by thy example what the virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity are able to do in a Christian soul. Thou didst employ all the powers of thy heart to love thy God alone. Thou didst love Him with a love so pure and fervent that it rendered thee worthy to taste upon earth beforehand those favours and those sweetness of Paradise which are communicated to souls invited to the nuptials of the Divine adorable Lamb of God.
Thou, illuminated by supernatural light and faith immovable, didst show thyself to be a true daughter of the Holy Gospel, by seeing in the person of thy neighbour the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ, sole object of thy affections; and therefore didst thou place all thy delight in holding converse with the poor, in serving them, in drying their tears and comforting their spirits, in assisting them with every pious good office, in the midst of pestilence and the miseries to which our human nature is subject.
Thou didst make thyself poor in order to succour thy neighbour in his poverty–poor in the good things of earth, to enrich thyself with the goods of heaven. Thou wast so humble that, after thou hadst exchanged a throne for a poor hovel, and a royal mantle for the modest habit of St Francis, thou didst subject thyself, innocent though thou wast, to a life of privation and of penance, and with holy joy didst embrace the cross of thy Redeemer, with goodwill accepting with Him insults and the most unjust persecution: thus, didst thou forget the world and thyself, to remember thy God alone.
Dearest Saint, who wast so beloved by God, vouchsafe to be the heavenly friend of our souls, and help them to become ever more and more acceptable to Jesus. Cast down upon us from the height of heaven one of those tender looks which, when thou wast upon earth, healed the most distressing infirmities. In this our age, so depraved and corrupt, and at the same time so cold and indifferent to the things of God, we have recourse to thee with confidence, in order that we may receive from our Lord light for the understanding and strength for the will, and thence obtain peace of soul.
Whilst we bless the Lord for having glorified his name in this world with the splendour of thy heroic virtues and the eternal reward accorded to them, do thou bless them, O dear St. Elizabeth, from that Blessed throne which thou dost occupy close to the Saint of Saints; protect us in our dangerous pilgrimage; obtain for us the pardon of our sins, and open for us the way to enter and share with thee the Kingdom of God. Amen.
Litany of St. Elizabeth of Hungary
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
O Christ, hear us.
O Christ, graciously hear us.
O God the Father, of heaven, have mercy upon us.
O God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy upon us
O God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy upon us
O Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy upon us.
Holy Mary, Pray for us.
Immaculate Virgin: Mother and Mistress of our Order, Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, Princess of Hungary, Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, Duchess of Thuringia, Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, mother in Israel, Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, queen in the Kingdom of God, Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, consoler of sinners, Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, nurse of lepers, Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, devoted wife of Louis the Good, Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, famous exemplar of Christian widowhood, Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, fervent spouse of the Son of God, Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, humble in prosperity, Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, patient in adversity, Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, mighty in penance, Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, wondrous in prayer, Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, first-born of the tertiaries regular, Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, protectress of our Order, Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, the “dear saint” of Holy Church, Pray for us.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,graciously hear us, O Lord.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
V. Pray for us, O blessed Elizabeth. Alleluia.
R. That we may be worthy of the promises of Christ. Alleluia.
Let us pray:
Merciful Lord, we pray Thee to pour the bright beams of Thy grace into our hearts: that, by the glorious prayers of Thy Saint Elizabeth, we may learn to despise all worldly prosperity, and ever to rejoice in all Heavenly consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.