Miracles in the Life of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
This dear Flower of God, Saint Elizabeth of Hungary reminds us very much of the Little Flower, St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Her greatest work began after her death. St. Elizabeth was given a word from above regarding when she would die. She kept working up to the end of her life. She could not leave her loved ones, her sick and poor alone. So she continued. However, just a few days before her death, she couldn’t continue; she had to be put to the bed. On her death bed, she was heard to sing very sweetly, which was her way. But the woman who had been assigned to be her attendant, commented to her how sweet the singing was. Elizabeth said to her: “I will tell you why. Between me and the wall there was a little bird singing gaily to me, and it was so sweet that I had to sing too.”
According to a letter by Master Conrad, she wanted everything distributed to the poor after her death. The letter stated “Before her death I heard her confession. When I asked what should be done about her goods and possessions, she replied that anything which seemed to be hers belonged to the poor. She asked me to distribute everything except one worn-out dress in which she wished to be buried. When all this had been decided, she received the Body of Our Lord. Afterward, until vespers, she spoke often of the holiest things she had heard in sermons. Then, she devoutly commended to God all who were sitting near her, and as if falling into a gentle sleep, she died.”
Our Lord Jesus came for His precious child on the evening of November 17, 1231. Did her dear husband come with Jesus to bring his bride, his princess, home, to where they would never be separated again? It had not been that long by man’s standards, but by this dear couple’s measure, it could have been a series of lifetimes. We know she had to be happy in Heaven with her husband, with all of her sick who had passed away during her time on earth. The reason we know this has to be so is the amount of work she continued to do from Heaven. She was reminiscent of the prophecy made by St. Thérèse of Lisieux on her deathbed: “I will spend my Heaven doing good on earth: yes, I will come down; I will come back.”
She was treated as royalty by all Germany, and probably many other countries on her death. Keep in mind, she was a princess in her own right, and she was married to the Landgrave, or Prince of Thuringia, who was also considered a Saint by the German people. Her body lay in state at the chapel of the hospital she had founded in Marburg. Miraculous healings began to take place immediately upon the body being placed there. The Archbishop of Mentz, in which Thuringia was a part, had examinations made of all those who claimed miraculous healings, and there were very many! He forwarded his findings on to Pope Gregory IX. The Pope knew of the holiness of this girl. He had chosen Master Conrad as her Spiritual Director, and had received reports over the years that the priest was in that position.
But he took four years before he proclaimed her a Saint in 1235. Remember, this was at a time when St. Anthony of Padua was proclaimed a Saint one year after his death (1232), and St. Francis of Assisi was proclaimed a Saint two years after his death (1228) by the same Pope, Gregory IX. But he could not take a chance of anyone accusing him of playing favorites to the Saint herself, having known her personally, or Emperor Frederic, so prudence was the key in waiting those four years.
But all the time the Church was waiting to proclaim Elizabeth a member of the Communion of Saints, miracles continued to happen. Records were kept by Master Conrad, the Archbishop of Mentz and Montanus. We’re just going to mention the ones we found in Butler’s Lives of the Saints.
Miracles in the Life of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
“Many instances are mentioned by Montanus and by the Archbishop of Mentz, and the confessor Conrad, of persons afflicted with palsies, and other inveterate diseases, who recovered their health at her tomb, or by invoking her intercession; as, of a boy blind from his birth, by the mother’s invocation of St. Elizabeth at her sepulcher applying some of the dust to his eyes, upon which a skin, which covered each eye, burst, and he saw, as several witnesses declared upon oath, and Master Conrad saw the eyes thus healed:
“...of a boy three years old, dead, cold, and stiff a whole night, raised to life the next morning by a pious grandmother praying to God through the intercession of St. Elizabeth, with a vow of alms to her hospital, and of dedicating the child to the divine service attested in every circumstance by the depositions of the mother, father, grandmother, uncle, and others, recorded by Conrad:
“...of a boy drawn out of a well, dead, and stiff for many hours, just going to be carried to burial, raised by the invocation of St. Elizabeth;
“of a youth drowned, restored by the life prayer;
“of a boy drawn out of a well, dead, black and etc. and a child still-born brought to life;
“others cured of palsies, failing-sickness, fevers, madness, lameness, blindness,” and on and on.
When word got back to the Archbishop of Metz that the Canonization was going to take place in 1235, he went with all haste to Thuringia to supervise the proper Shrine for this Saint of royalty. Everybody from all over Europe came to the Canonization, which took place on Whit-Sunday.
Her relics were transported from her tomb to a grand Shrine at the hospital, named St. Elizabeth after our Saint. The Emperor was there to take the first stone from her grave and place it on her Shrine, and then placed a crown of gold on her Shrine. The assembled dignitaries included cardinals, bishops, priests, kings, princes, and of course, her favorite, the poor and destitute. It was estimated that there were over 200,000 people in attendance for the ceremony. Her relics were placed in a rich red case, and put on the altar of the church in the hospital. A Cistercian monk testified that just prior to the translation of the relics, as he was praying at her tomb, he was cured of a palpitation of the heart which he had suffered for forty years. It just went on and on. She is one of the greatest intercessors in Germany.
But that’s not the end of the story.
Or at least we don’t think it is. We believe Our Lord Jesus has prepared a mansion for Elizabeth and Ludwig in Heaven. We believe she’s just as free-spirited as she was on earth, or even more so, and she’s probably got everyone in Heaven working overtime to help the poor, the sick, the destitute, and all those categories of people we gave her credit as being benefactress for. Only now, she’s not alone. Her dear husband has all the time in the world to help her in her quest for the glory of God’s people. And their honeymoon continues. We truly believe that the Fairy Tale Romance of Elizabeth and Ludwig, has all the Angels and Saints in Heaven sighing, that they are just so beautiful and so in love. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be? Why not? Praise God!