The charity of Saint Elizabeth of Hiungary

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

Read and learn more about the tragic and fantastic life of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. She had been the warrior princess who helped the people in need


The history

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary was a princess and daughter of King Andrew II. of Hungary and Gertrude of Merania. She was born in July 1207 in Sárospatak. Scholars still argue about the exact day of her birth but the month and year are correct.

Elizabeth had 4 siblings and her brother became the king known as King Béla IV. of Hungary. 

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary was transported to the court of Thuringia and got engaged at the age of 4 to Hermann Landgrave of Thuringia. She was raised by the Thuringian family in Germany and she finally married the younger brother Louis instead of Herman who died at the age of 19, and hence could not marry Elizabeth. 

Her marriage

Although Saint Elizabeth of Hungary was very young when she married Louis, their marriage had been very happy and they had been in love according to historical sources. Louis supported his wife’s religious devotion and her different charitable efforts to help the poor and the sick. 

They had 3 children but unfortunately, Louis could not live to see his youngest daughter, Gertrude due to the fact that he was fighting during the Crusades and died from an epidemic.

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary – charitable efforts

Elizabeth was looking after their province while her husband was away and she made sure that no one was starving by giving away food and medicine to the people in need. She also built a hospital and an orphanage to make life better for the poor and the vulnerable.

Saint Elizabeth washing a sick man

The rest of the Thuringian family was not happy about Elizabeth’s actions and donations and when they had a chance after the death of Louis, they deprived the widow Elizabeth and her children of the income of their lands and the Saint had no other choice but to leave the court and support her family on her own. 

She had carried on being a devoted pious person and helped everywhere and with everything that she possibly could. She also led a very simple and strict life almost like a nun. 

After moving from place to place with her family Saint Elizabeth of Hungary ended up joining Francis of Assisi’s order and died very young at the age of only 24.

Miracles of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary 

The roses

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary is usually portrayed with roses in her basket or apron. The reason for this is, that one day Elizabeth was carrying bread in her basket that she wanted to distribute to the hungry people when she came across her brother-in-law, Henrik who immediately demanded her to tell him what was in the basket and Elizabeth was so afraid to tell the truth that she said that there were roses in there. Henrik was suspicious and wanted to see the content of the basket and when the Saint showed him, the basket was full of roses instead of bread. By the time Elizabeth reached her destination, they changed back into food again. 

A statue showing the miracle of the roses
A statue showing the miracle of the roses

People healed

There had been many stories regarding the miracles of Elizabeth both when she was still alive (blind people got to see again, disabled people got to walk again etc.) and after her death. It is said that visiting her grave has fantastic healing power.

Churches named after Saint Elizabeth

Several churches honour Elizabeth’s charitable efforts in Hungary and abroad too. Let’s see some of the houses of God where you can pay your respect:

  1. Europe:
    • Budapest: There are 4 different churches named after St. Elizabeth:
      Google Map for the 4 churches’ location
    • Ashley, Reddish, England
    • Marburg, Wiesbaden, Germany
    • Wroclaw, Poland
    • Kosice, Bratislava, Slovakia
  2. USA:
    • Maryland, Colorado, New York City etc.
  3. Other places:
    • Westville, South Africa
    • Uruguay, South America
    • Toronto, Canada


Saint Elizabeth of Hungary was a controversial person since her own family never understood her and never appreciated her actions but Elizabeth’s great efforts to help the people in need and her selfless approach make her one of the greatest figures in history. 

If you wish to pay your respects you can visit one of the churches in Budapest. (map can be found above)

Watch this video to learn more about St. Elizabeth of Hungary:

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