Born in 1207, Elizabeth of Hungary is remembered today for her charitable works, with dozens of hospitals throughout the world bearing her name. She is also associated with more than 150 miracles, most of which involve healing children.
Perhaps the most famous is the Miracle of the Roses. Elizabeth had established a hospice for the poor in a converted building at the foot of the castle hill where she lived. She smuggled bread out of the castle kitchen to feed the needy, which was forbidden. Often, Elizabeth would hide the food inside her robes. Once – when compelled to open her robe for inspection – legend has it that the bread turned to roses.
“In every beggar and ailing person, she saw Jesus himself,” said Susan Vallem, a social worker based in Waverly, Iowa, who has long studied Elizabeth. “In [Elizabeth], we can see ties to what it is that the ELCA does in response to issues of poverty, hunger justice, illness, civil rights, and other issues,” Vallem said.
This message is excerpted from “Remembering Elizabeth of Hungary” by Karris Golden in the November 2016 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate Elizabeth of Hungary, renewer of society, 1231.
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