In the town of Marburg, Germany, the burial of St. Elizabeth, Widow, daughter of King Andrew of Hungary and member of the Third Order of St. Francis. She went to the Lord earnest and assiduous in acts of piety and renowned for her miracles. – Roman Martyrology for November 19
St. Elizabeth was daughter of the King of Hungary and wife of the Landgrave of Thuringia. She was committed to serving the poor, and upon her husband's death she became a Franciscan tertiary and founded a hospital in which she herself labored. Narrative images often picture her serving the poor while dressed in a Franciscan habit, as in the first picture at right.
In portraits she often has a basket of bread or flowers, as in the second and third pictures. The flowers refer to a story that hagiographers of the later 13th century commandeered from the life of St. Casilda, whose Saracen father caught her taking a basket of food to Christian prisoners. When he looked into the basket, he found only roses.1
Being of royal birth, the saint is sometimes pictured with a crown, as in the second picture at right.
Prepared in 2014 by Richard Stracke, Emeritus Professor of English, Augusta University, revised 2015-10-30, 2018-01-21.