Republished: Saint Elizabeth of Hungary: Suffering at the Hands of Her Own Family

"Priests, my Son's ministers, priests, by their evil life, by their irreverences and their impiety in celebrating the holy mysteries, love of money, love of honor and pleasures, priests have become sewers of impurity. Yes, priests call forth vengeance, and vengeance is suspended over their heads. Woe to priests, and to persons consecrated to God, who by their infidelities and their evil life are crucifying my Son anew! The sins of persons consecrated to God cry to heaven and call for vengeance, and now here is vengeance at their very doors, for no longer is anyone found to beg mercy and pardon for the people; there are no more generous souls, there is now no one worthy of offering the spotless Victim to the Eternal on the worlds behalf.

"God will strike in an unparalleled manner. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth! God will exhaust His anger, and no one will be able to escape so many evils at once. The heads, the leaders of the people of God, have neglected prayer and penance, and the devil has darkened their minds; they have become those wandering stars which the ancient devil will drag with his tail to destruction. God will permit the ancient serpent to sow divisions among rulers, in all societies and in all families; both physical and moral punishments will be suffered. God will abandon men to themselves and will send chastisements one after the other for over 35 years.

"Society is on the very eve of most terrible scourges and greatest events; one must expect to be governed by a rod of iron and to drink the chalice of God's wrath. (The Message of Our Lady of La Salette.)

The era of apostasy and betrayal in which we live has indeed sown divisions all across the vast expanse of the ecclesiastical divide, especially in our families. There is hardly a family in the Church today that has not been riven by the events of the past fifty years. A state of "cold war" exists in so many families over the most important matter in their lives: the salvation of their immortal souls as members of the Catholic Church. Husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers and sisters are estranged from each other as the adversary seeks to embitter hearts in the midst of his advances in the popular culture and within the counterfeit church of conciliarism itself.

These family divisions exist even in families who are immersed in all things conciliar, including their "full, active and conscious" participation in the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service. A wife, for instances, might see, at least in shadow form, "problems" with the Novus Ordo while her husband does not, considering that any discussion of "problems" is a sign of "disloyalty" to the "pope" and to the Church. A husband might want to enforce standards of modesty within his household, only to find that his wife has received carte blanche from their local conciliar "pastor" to dress herself and her children as she pleases. Some other wife, fearful of the curriculum found in their local conciliar schools, might want to home school her children while encountering deep resistance from her husband. Other families in the conciliar structures are torn apart on matters of whether to watch television at all, no less the offensive programming that is broadcast around the clock each day, and whether to consider "rock music" evil, finding little comfort and support from their local "pastors," especially when "youth" "Masses" feature "rock music" and immodesty.

Some families are riven over the most basic issues of the Faith: Who is God? Why should I obey Him? Why are His Commandments unchanging? Why should I believe that there is one, true Church? What can't I dress as I want and watch what I want on television at at the movies? Why don't all people go to Heaven no matter what they believe or how they behave? Why do I have to pray to Mary when I can go "straight" to Jesus Himself? Who says there is a Purgatory? What's the big deal about shopping on Sunday? Why can't women be priests? Why can't I limit the number of children I want to have? Who says women can't wear pants and short skirts and sleeveless blouses? Why can't men walk around shirtless or sleeveless themselves?

Such has been the triumph of the conciliar revolution that large numbers of baptized Catholics get married even as they have been denied a true understanding and love of the Holy Faith, leading to untold amounts of grief in the future in the event that one spouse actually grows in the Faith and wants his family's life to revolve around It so that each family member can strive for sanctity and be in Heaven for all eternity. All manner of "mixed marriages" exist even between baptized Catholics as one spouse's belief in and commitment to the Faith varies from the other spouse's. A desire to grow in sanctity on the part of one spouse can clash with the other spouse's desire to be worldly and to be accepted as "normal" by others who are equally worldly.

This is a problem that exists across the ecclesiastical divide, but it is heightened considerably when one spouse embraces the Immemorial Mass of Tradition while the other "prefers" the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service, no less when one spouse comes to understand that the Catholic Church cannot be responsible for the novelties and abominations and sacrileges and blasphemies of the past fifty years while the other spouse thinks that such a conclusion is a sign of "mental illness." Hard feelings are sometimes engendered. Battle lines are drawn. Phone calls are made to relatives and friends to convince the "wacko" spouse who is committed to that "old Mass" and/or who believes that the "pope" is not the pope that he is wrong and in need of psychological, if not psychiatric, assistance. Imagine being "different from others, especially when somewhere around 99.99% of people completely reject any semblance of a view that the "Vatican," of all places, is wrong about the "new" "Mass" and false ecumenism and religious liberty and separation of Church and State?

The battles that have been and continue to be fought within families as a result of the loss of the Faith are tragic. Children are sometimes told that their father or their mother (whichever the case might be) is in need of "help" because he or she has been inspired by Our Lady's graces to quit the ways of the world and to grow in sanctity. People who have studied nothing of First and Last Things and who have a contempt for the glories of the lives of the saints consider themselves "expert" about the Faith, being reaffirmed these days in their utter ignorance by men masquerading as "bishops" and "priests" in the conciliar structures.


Embrace a life of Holy Poverty?

Renounce the acquisition of more material goods?

Vacation only where one can find a true offering of the Mass at the hands of a true bishop or a true priest who makes no concessions to conciliarism?

Throw out the television?

Don't participate in the devil's holiday on October 31?

Don't participate in "holiday" parties during Advent?


Be different from the rest of the world?

Why, why, this is, this is, this is crazy, isn't it?

Being "misunderstood" by one's closest relatives is certainly a difficult cross. So what? Nothing we suffer in this passing, mortal vale of tears is the equal of what one of our least Venial Sins caused Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to suffer during His Passion and Death as those Seven Swords of Sorrow were plunged into His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Rejected, misunderstood?

So what?

Everything gets revealed on the Last Day at the General Judgment of the Living and the Dead. The intentions of all hearts and the circumstances of each life will be revealed then. While we pray for those who we believe have misunderstood us in this life and those who might even have rejected us, we may have to wait, barring Divine intervention in many cases, until the Last Day for a reconciliation with those from whom we have become estranged as a result the events of our current circumstances in the Church and the world.

For those who are suffering at the hands of family members because of their embrace of the Faith and/or because of their having come to see the truth of our ecclesiastical situation, the great and wonderful and humble saint we commemorate today, Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, one of the earliest followers of Saint Francis of Assisi, should be embraced as a model and intercessor par excellence. Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, who was married at the age of fourteen to her husband, Louis of Thuringia, was misunderstood by most of those who lived in Wartburg Castle. Saint Elizabeth was held in particular disdain by her brothers-in-law during her husband's life because of what was considered to be her "eccentric" habit of giving away everything that she had to the poor. These same brothers-in-law drove her out of the castle entirely after Louis, known in the German language as Ludwig, and then spoke against her to the very poor people who she had assisted so generously when her husband was alive.

Consider this passage from Blanche Jennings Thompson's magnificent Saint Elizabeth's Three Crowns:

It was the third hard winter in village and castle. The weather was bitter cold, food was scarce, and tempers short in the Wartburg. Henry and Conrad [Louis's brothers] meant very well, but they did not understand Elizabeth. Without Louis to protect her, they treated her with little respect. Henry scolded and Conrad sneered. To them she was just queer and unreasonable. She made everybody uncomfortable, they said. Nobody likes to have his conscience prodding him constantly, and that was the effect that Elizabeth seemed to have on other people.

Landgravine Sophie [Louis's mother] stayed at the castle and tried to defend Elizabeth. there was now a strong bond between them. They had both loved Louis deeply. But, in spite of Sophie's sympathy, Elizabeth was ill-treated in the castle. It is hard to say whether or not Henry and Conrad deliberately turned people against her, but they certainly did nothing to protect her. Guda and Ysentrud shuddered at the cruel talk they heard again, just as in the olden days when Elizabeth was the little strange princess from Hungary. Even then she disturbed the ladies of the court by being "too pious," "too religious," or by "trying to act holy."

Down in the village the people whispered what they had heard from the servants in the castle.

"She wasted all the landgrave's money--gave it to undeserving beggars."

"Yes, and remember how she gave away the precious grain right and left? She should never have been trusted with money."

"It is a good thing that Prince Henry knows how to be firm with her. He has put strong locks on the granaries and gives her no money at all. Louis was always too lenient."

The minds of the people were poisoned against Elizabeth. The very ones whom she had nursed and cared for turned against her now.

One dark, cold night she suddenly made up her mind. She walked down the icy path to the village, leaning on cane for safety's sake. She planned to find some place for herself and the children to live. There were lights in several houses, and she tried one after another.

"Who is there?"

"The landgravine, May I come in?"

Silence. No one would open. At last a tavern-keeper took pity on her and let her stay in an old tool shed.

"I will drive out the pigs, my lady," he said, so that you can sleep."

Some old work clothes hung on a hook. These he put on a bench and over her knees and left her. There she sat in the cold until dawn. Then she heard the Mass bell from the Franciscan church.

The friars were chanting their morning prayers when they saw in the half darkness the figure of the landgravine. She walked toward the altar, surrounded by the light of their candles as by a glory, and began in a clear voice to sing the Te Deum. After a startled moment the friars joined her. She was welcome in the House of God.

Elizabeth had always wanted to give up everything and be a beggar like Brother Francis [of Assisi]. This was her change Guda and Ysentrud [her loyal attendants] brought the children down to her, and she took them with her as she begged from house to house. But door after door was shut in her face. The royal princess, Elizabeth of Hungary, Landgravine of Thuringia, accompanied by the royal children, were turned away by her subjects. Guda and Ysentrud wept bitterly.

A poor priest gave them shelter and a bed of straw, but orders came from the castle that they must all move immediately to the home of a certain nobleman who was an especial enemy of Elizabeth. Unwilling to offend Henry, he did give them a small dark room, but refused food, heat, or any other comfort. The next day Elizabeth took her little family back to the friendly tavernkeeper's shed. Before she left, she touched the walls of the room as she used to as a child in the Wartburg Castle.

"Thank you, kind walls," she said, "for sheltering us against the weather as well as you could. I should like to thank you master, but I have nothing to thank him for."

Of course Elizabeth could not keep the children with her in the kind of life she was leading. She had to send them to trusted friends of their father--at least for a time. She herself continued to live in the shed, supporting herself by spinning and weaving. Something deep in her heart had made her turn from the medieval idea of servant and master. Long, long before the rest of the world would accept the doctrine of brotherhood, she, like St. Francis, believed in the equality of men. She preferred poverty to luxury made possible by the misery and labor of serfs and slaves. In spite of her sufferings, she was happy to be like Christ. [Blanche Jennings Thompson, Saint Elizabeth's Three Crowns, Vision Books: Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, 1958, pp. 150-153.]  

Yes, many even in a Catholic world at the beginning of the Thirteenth Century thought that anyone who took the Faith too seriously and saw the very image of the suffering Christ in the faces of the poor was just a little "nuts," a little "crazy" in the head. What? Pray a lot before the Blessed Sacrament? Practice severe mortifications? That's just not quite right, huh? "Normal" people don't do such things. Ah, may we all be as crazy as Saint Elizabeth of Hungary and suffer much from those around us for being so! Such is the path to sanctity by dying to self and disordered self-love.

Saint Elizabeth forgave her persecutors, her own brothers-in-law. She forgave the poor people whom she served so generously when she was their queen. Imbued with the spirit of Saint Francis of Assisi, who said "Deo Gratias!" whenever he was spat upon or beaten up by thieves or insulted by worldly Catholics, Saint Elizabeth never harbored grudges. She willed the good of those who insulted her, those who calumniated her, those who subject her to homelessness and a life, if for a time, of begging from door to door. She imitated her Divine Redeemer, who forgave and made excuses for His executioners, namely, each one of us by means of our sins, as He hung on the gibbet of the Holy Cross. We can do no less. We must will the eternal good of all men, especially those of our own households who may, for one reason or another, hold us in the same contempt with which Saint Elizabeth of Hungary was held by her brothers-in-law (and by her mother-in-law before she had a change of heart over the years) and her fellow countrymen who had benefited so much from her selfless acts of generosity in their behalf.

Our Lady of La Salette predicted that families would be torn apart. As noted before, we must pray for a happy reconciliation in eternity with all of those from whom we are estranged in this life. Nothing matters save that we save our immortal souls as members of the Catholic Church who die in states of Sanctifying Grace. No amount of misunderstand, ridicule, ostracism, rejection, humiliation or other injustices at the hands of others matter at all. Our sins did far worse to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His Most Blessed Mother. We must accept the sufferings of the present moment with joy and with gratitude, always remembering friend and regrettable foe in the Memento for the Living in the Canon of the Mass and remembering those who have died in the Memento for the Dead in the Canon.

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, who was indeed an exemplar of the Social Reign of Christ the King (and suffered for it in her own castle!), can help reunite divided families in eternity, if not before, if we turn to her Heavenly intercession.

The Divine Office for today's feast highlights the virtues of this truly wondrous daugher of Saint Francis of Assisi:

Elisabeth, daughter of Andrew II., King of Hungary, was born in the year 1207. She began to fear God even from a little child, and grew in grace as she grew in years. (In her fourteenth year) she was married to Lewis, Landgrave of Hesse and Thuringia, and thenceforth gave herself up to the things of her husband, with as much zeal as to the things of God. She rose in the night to make long prayers. She consecrated herself to works of mercy. She waited continually on widows and orphans, the sick and the needy. When a sore famine came in the year 1225, she provided corn bountifully from her own house. She founded an house of refuge for lepers, and would even kiss their hands and feet. She built also a great hospital for the suffering and starving poor.

After husband died (on his way to the Holy War, on the eleventh day of September, 1227.) Then Elizabeth, more utterly to be God's only, laid aside all the garments of earthly state, clad herself in mean raiment, and entered the Third Order of St Francis, wherein she was a burning and shining light of longsuffering and lowliness. (Her brotherin-law) stripped her (and her three little children) of all their goods, and turned them out of their own house. She was deserted by all, and assailed with insults, gibes, and calumnies, but she bore it all with patience, yea, even rejoicing that she suffered such things for God's sake. She gave herself to the meanest services toward the poor and sick, and sought for them the needfuls of life, while she lived herself only on potherbs and vegetables.

In these and many other holy works she prayerfully passed the rest of her life, till (in the twenty-fourth year of her age,) the end of her earthly pilgrimage came, as she had already foretold to her servants. With her eyes fixed on heaven, absorbed in the thought of God, by Him wondrously comforted, and strengthened by the Sacraments, she fell asleep in the Lord, (upon the 19th day of November, in the year of salvation 1231. ) Forthwith many miracles were wrought at her grave, which being known and duly proved, Gregory IX. numbered her name among those of the Saints. (Matins, The Divine Office, Feast of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary.)

Dom Prosper Gueranger summarized the life of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary as follows in The Liturgical Year:

Although the blessed in heaven shine each with his own peculiar glory, God is pleased to group them in families, as he groups the stars in the material firmament. It is grace that presides over the arrangement of these constellations in the heaven of the saints; but sometimes it seems as if God wished to remind us that He is the sole Author of both grace and nature; and inviting them, in spite of the fall, to honour Him unitedly in His elect. He causes sanctity to become a glorious heirloom, handed down from generation to generation in the same family on earth. Among these races none can compare with that royal line which, beginning in ancient Pannomia, spread its branches over the world in the most flourishing days of Christendom: ‘Rich in virtue and studying beautifulness’, as Scripture says, it brought peace to all the royal houses of Europe with which it was allied; and the many names it has inscribed in the golden boo of the blessed perpetuate its glory.

Among these illustrious names, and surrounded by them as a diamond set in a circle of pearls, the greatest, in the esteem of the Church and of the people, is that of the amiable saint, who was ripe for heaven at the age of twenty-four years, and who ascended on this day into the company of Stephen, Emeric, and Ladislas. Elizabeth was not inferior to them in manly virtues; but the simplicity of her loving soul added to the heroism of her race a sweetness, whose fragrance drew after her along the path of sanctity her daughter Gertrude of Thuringia, and her relatives Hedwige of Silesia, Agnes of Bohemia, Margaret of Hungary, Cunigund of Poland, and Elizabeth of Portugal.

All the poetry of those chivalrous times appears in the beautiful pages of contemporaneous writers, as they describe to us the innocent child transplanted like a tender flower from the court of Hungary to that of Thuringia; and her life of devotedness there, with a bridegroom worthy to witness the ecstasies of her lofty but ingenuous piety and to defend her heroic virtue against her slanderers. To the stewards who complained that during the absence of Duke Lewis she had, in spite of their remonstrances, exhausted the revenues upon the poor, he replied, ‘I desire that my Elizabeth be at liberty to act as she wishes, provided she leaves me Wartburg and Naumburg.’ Our Lord opened the landgrave’s eyes to see transformed into beautiful roses the provisions Elizabeth was carrying to the poor. Jesus crucified appeared in the leper she had taken into her own apartments that she might the better tend him. If it happened that illustrious visitors arrived unexpectedly, and the duchess having bestowed all her jewels in alms was unable to adorn herself becomingly to do them honour, the angels so well supplied the deficiency that, according to the German chroniclers of the time, it seemed to the astonished guests that the queen of France herself could not have appeared more strikingly beautiful or more richly attired.

Elizabeth indeed was never wanting to any of the obligations or requirements of her position as a wife and as a sovereign princess. As graciously simple in her virtues as she was affable to all, she could not understand the gloomy moroseness which some affected in their prayers and austerities. ‘They look as if they wanted to frighten our Lord,’ she would say, ‘whereas He loves the cheerful giver.’

The time soon came when he herself had to give generously without counting the cost. First there was the cruel separation from her husband, Duke Lewis, on his departure for the crusade; then the heartening scene when his death was announced to her, just as she was about to give birth to their fourth child; and thirdly the atrocious act of Henry Raspon, the landgrave’s unworthy brother, who, thinking this a good opportunity for seizing the deceased’s estates, drove out his widow and children and forbade anyone to give them hospitality. Then, in the very land where every misery had been succoured by her charity, Elizabeth was reduced to the necessity of begging, and not without many rebuffs, a little bread for her poor children, and of seeking shelter with them in a pigsty.

On the return of the knights who had accompanied Duke Lewis to the Holy Land, justice was at length done to our saint. But Elizabeth, who had become the passionate lover of holy poverty, chose to remain among the poor. She was the first professed Tertiary of the Seraphic Order; and the mantle sent by St. Francis to his very dear daughter became her own only treasure. The path of perfect self-renunciation soon brought her to the threshold of heaven. She who, twenty years before, had been carried to her betrothed in a silver cradle and robed in silk and gold, now took her flight to God from a wretched hovel, her only garment being a patched gown. The minstrels, whose gay competitions had signalized the year of her birth, were no longer there; but the angels were heard singing, as they bore her up to heaven: ‘The kingdom of this world have I despised for the love of Jesus Christ my Lord, whom I have seen, whom I have loved, in whom I have believed, whom I have tenderly loved.’

Four years later, Elizabeth, now declared a saint by the Vicar of Christ, behold all the nations of the holy Empire, with the emperor himself at their head, hastening to Marburg, where she lay at rest in the midst of the poor whose life she had imitated. Her holy body was committed to the care of the Teutonic Knights, who in return for the honour made Marburg one of the headquarters of their Order, and raised to her name the first Gothic church in Germany. Numerous miracles long attracted the Christian world to the spot.

And now, though still standing, though still beautiful in its mourning, St. Elizabeth’s at Marburg knows it glorious title only by name. And at Wartburg, where the dear saint went through the sweetest episodes of her life as a child and as a bride, the great memorial now shown to the traveller is the pulpit of an excommunicated friar, and the inkstain with which, in a fit of folly or drunkenness, he had soiled the wall, as he afterwards endeavoured with his pen to profane and sully everything in the Church of God. (Dom Prosper Gueranger, The Liturgical Year: Time After Pentecost, Book VI, pp. 295-298.)

That friar, of course, was none other than the hideous heretic named Father Martin Luther, O.S.A., who has been praised by the conciliar “popes,” including, of course, the “restorer of tradition,” Joseph Alois Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, and Jorge Mario Bergoglio (see  and .)

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary embraced a life of asceticism as she, disdaining her royal privileges and accepting the injustices visited upon her by her mother-in-law and brothers-in-law, preferred to store up treasures in Heaven by her service to the poor and her humble acceptance of suffering for the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ Crucified. Saint Elizabeth of Hungary was humble and devout.

The hideous drunkard and lecher named Martin Luther was filled with pride and impiety, which are the exact same curses that afflicted each of the conciliar "popes."

May we make our own Dom Prosper Gueranger’s prayer to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary:

What a lesson thou leavest to the earth as thou mounted up to heaven. O blessed Elizabeth! We ask with the Church for ourselves and for all our brethren in the faith: may thy glorious prayers obtain from the God of mercy that our hearts may open to the light of thy life’s teaching, so that despising worldly prosperity we may rejoice in heavenly consolations. The Gospel read in thy honour to-day tells us that the kingdom of heaven is like to a hidden treasure, and to a precious pearl. Thou didst well understand this ‘good traffic,’ as the Epistle calls it, and it became the good fortune of all around thee: of thy happy subjects, who received from thee succour and assistance for both soul and body; of thy noble husband, who found an honourable place among those princes who knew how to exchange a perishable diadem for an eternal crown; in a word, all who belonged to thee. Thou wast their boast; and several among them followed in thy footsteps along the heavenward path of self-renunciation. How is it that others, in an age of destruction, could abjure their title of children of saints, and draw the people after them to deal so wantonly with the sweetest memorials and the noblest traditions? May our Lord restore to His Church and to thee the country where thou didst experience His love; may thy supplications, united with ours, revive the ancient faith in those branches of thy stock, which are no longer nourished with that life-giving sap; and may thy glorious trunk continue, in its faithful branches, to give saints to the world. (Dom Prosper Gueranger, The Liturgical Year: Time After Pentecost, Book VI,pp. 301-302.)

It might be a very good idea to send this prayer to a man is perhaps even more hideous and irresponsible than was Martin Luther, namely, Jorge Mario Bergoglio himself.

More importantly, of course, we need to invoke the heavenly intercession of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary every day so that we can have a happy reconciliation in heaven with all of those from whom we may be estranged, perhaps irreparably so, in this life because of the state of the world and the state of the Church Militant on earth in this time of apostasy and betrayal.


We would do well today to pray a Rosary in honor of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary as we ask the Queen of the Friars Minor, Our Lady herself, to exhibit the love of the Most Sacred Heart of her Divine Son that was exhibited so perfectly by Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, who now rests in the abode of that same Sacred Heart as she, Saint Elizabeth, gives praise to the Heart out of which It was formed, the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  


Our Lady of the Rosary, us.


Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, pray for us.

Pope Saint Pontianus, pray for us.