(ca. 1207-1231), holy woman
Patron of the UST College of Nursing
Feast Day: November 17
Elizabeth was the daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary. At age four (b. 1207), she was brought to the court of her future husband, Ludwig, landgrave of Thuringia. After her marriage in 1221, she conscientiously fulfilled her duties both toward her husband and to God. During the night, she would rise from bed and spend long periods in prayer. She performed zealously all types of charitable acts at the service of widows, orphans, the sick, and the needy. During a famine, she generously distributed all the grain from her stocks, cared for lepers, and kissed their hands and feet. She even provided suitable lodging for indigents. According to a legend, the gentry was telling the king that she was stealing treasures from the castle. When her husband was out hunting, she went secretly on an errand of mercy. Unexpectedly, she met her husband, who asked her to reveal what was hidden under her cloak, and the bread that she was concealing turned into roses.
After the early death of her husband, Elizabeth laid aside all royal dignities to serve God more freely. She put on simple clothing, and showed great patience and humility. She was not spared from intense suffering: the goods belonging to her as a widow were withheld, and she was forced to leave the castle. She wandered in the winter’s cold. In Eisenach, no one dared receive her out of fear of her enemies. Upon much pleading, a shepherd permitted her to use an abandoned pig sty. In 1228, she took the veil of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis at Marburg, and there built a hospital with some property still belonging to her. She retained for herself only a small mud house. All her strength and care were now devoted to the poor and the sick, while she obtained the few things she needed by spinning. She died in 1231 at age 24, and was canonized in 1235 by Pope Gregory IX.
Under the patronage of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, who selflessly cared for the sick and the needy, the UST College of Nursing commits itself to provide a Catholic Nursing Education geared toward excellent health care delivery reflected in teaching, research, and community services to respond to national and global needs.
- Bihl, Michael. “St. Elizabeth of Hungary.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 5. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 19 Apr. 2021.