St. Elizabeth was born in Hungary on 7 July 1207, as the daughter of Alexander II, King of Hungary. At the age of four she was sent for her schooling to the court of the Landgrave of Thuringia, to whose infant son she was betrothed. As she grew in age, her piety also increased by leaps and bounds. In 1221, she married Louis of Thuringia and in spite of her position at court she began to lead a simple and austere life, practiced penance and devoted her life to works of Mercy.
Her husband was much inclined to religion and highly esteemed her virtue, encouraging her to excel in her exemplary life. They had three children when tragedy struck - Louis was killed while fighting with the Crusaders. After his death, Elisabeth left the court, made arrangements for the care of her children and in 1228, renounced the world and became a tertiary of St. Francis. She built the Franciscan hospital at Marburg and devoted herself to the care of the sick until her death at the age of 24 in 1231. She was canonized and greatly venerated as a Catholic saint who was an early member of the Third Order of St. Francis of Assisi by which she is honoured as the patroness of our congregation.