Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

Patron saint of young brides.

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

Saint Elizabeth was a 13th century princess who lived a life of great charity and sadness. Her mother was murdered when Elizabeth was 6 years old. She was married at 14, and her husband features prominently in two rather adversarial miracles.

The first, the miracle of the roses: Elizabeth had secretly taken meat, eggs, and bread from their kitchen to distribute to the poor, but her husband caught her leaving the castle and demanded she open her cloak. When she did, it revealed a bouquet of white and pink roses.

The second, the crucifix in the bed: Elizabeth met a leper and invited him to lie in the bed she and her husband shared. When her husband found this, he indignantly ripped off the man’s clothes, only to find that instead of a leper he was actually Christ.

Their relationship was ultimately brief, however. Elizabeth was widowed at 20, already with three children, at which point she took a vow of celibacy. When her uncle tried to force her to remarry, she told him she would cut off her nose so no man would want her.

After recovering the money from her dowry, she built a hospital for the poor, where, it seems, she caught some disease before dying at just 24.