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Timeline: Life of St. Elizabeth of Hungary

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St. Elizabeth of Hungary was born into a wealthy, privileged family and renounced it all to follow Jesus. Here are some important events in her life.

  • July 7, 1207: Elizabeth was born in a castle in Sarospatak, Hungary, the daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary and Gertrude of Merania. Her maternal aunt, Hedwig of Andechs, later became St. Hedwig.
  • 1221: Elizabeth, then 14, marries Louis, son of a wealthy landowner.
  • 1223: Franciscan friars begin arriving in her part of the country and Elizabeth becomes fascinated with their ideals and the work they did. She decides to live her own life according to the Franciscan ideals.
  • 1226: Due to her support of the ideals of St. Francis, the Franciscans decide to dispatch her to Thuringia, where she learns more about their work and is further inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, who sent her a letter not long before his death that year.
  • 1227: Louis dies of a fever on his way to a Crusade in the Holy Land. As a result, Elizabeth, 20, is left destitute, needing to care and provide for the couple’s three children.
  • 1228: Elizabeth joins the Third Order of Franciscans, but her health rapidly declines. She is entrusted with the care of the mortal remains of St. Francis that year and oversees their internment at the Abbey of Reinhardsbrunn, Thuringia (now central Germany).
  • 1231: Elizabeth dies in Marburg (now Hesse, Germany). She was 24.
  • May 1235: St. Elizabeth of Hungary is canonized by Pope Gregory IX. Her feast is November 17.

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