Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Holy Life

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
Religious, Widow (1207-1231)
Patron Saint of the homeless
Feast day – November 17

In her short life Elizabeth manifested such great love for the poor and suffering that she has become the patroness of Catholic charities and of the Secular Franciscan Order.


The daughter of the King of Hungary, Elizabeth chose a life of penance and asceticism when a life of leisure and luxury could easily have been hers. This choice endeared her in the hearts of the common people throughout Europe. At the age of 14 Elizabeth was married to Louis of Thuringia (a German principality), whom she deeply loved; she bore three children. Under the spiritual direction of a Franciscan friar, she led a life of prayer, sacrifice and service to the poor and sick. Seeking to become one with the poor, she wore simple clothing.


Daily she would take bread to hundreds of the poorest in the land, who came to her gate. After six years of marriage, her husband died in the Crusades, and she was grief-stricken. Her husband’s family looked upon her as squandering the royal purse, and mistreated her, finally throwing her out of the palace. The return of her husband’s allies from the Crusades resulted in her being reinstated, since her son was legal heir to the throne. In 1228 Elizabeth joined the Secular Franciscan Order, spending the remaining few years of her life caring for the poor in a hospital which she founded in honour of St. Francis. Elizabeth’s health declined, and she died before her 24th birthday in 1231. Her great popularity resulted in her canonization four years later.

Elizabeth understood well the lesson Jesus taught when he washed his disciples' feet at the Last Supper: The Christian must be one who serves the humblest needs of others, even if one serves from an exalted position. Of royal blood, Elizabeth could have lorded it over her subjects. Yet she served them with such a loving heart that her brief life won for her a special place in the hearts of many. Elizabeth is also an example to us in her following the guidance of a spiritual director. Growth in the spiritual life is a difficult process. We can play games very easily if we don't have someone to challenge us or to share experiences so as to help us avoid pitfalls.

"Today, there is an inescapable duty to make ourselves the neighbour of every individual, without exception, and to take positive steps to help a neighbour whom we encounter, whether that neighbour be an elderly person, abandoned by everyone, a foreign worker who suffers the injustice of being despised, a refugee, an illegitimate child wrongly suffering for a sin of which the child is innocent, or a starving human being who awakens our conscience by calling to mind the words of Christ: 'As long as you did it for one of these, the least of my brethren, you did it for me' (Matthew 25:40)".


Sources for this article were taken from:



Oh Lord,
Grant that your blessed daughter Saint Elizabeth comes to this man/women in their hour of bereavement,
St Elizabeth help us to lighten their burden so that they may know their loved one has gone to the life eternal in the sight of the Lord Our God,Show them that until such time as they meet again, love remains here for them on earth.
In Jesus Name.


Saint Elizabeth – Pray for us

Prayer for the Homeless

Dear God,
There is no place like home.
Home is where the heart is. Lose heart... and lose home.
We feel the truth of these words, for home and heart are bound together.
The state of one reflects the state of the other.
For who has not lost his home without feeling like the heart has been cut out of him? And whose heart has not healed faster by being in the right home?
So help me with this prayer.
For I bring to you a brother in need.
He is beloved, Divine and has talents within him to express and share.
But he does not know this.
He lives on the street and eats out of garbage cans.
For living this wretched life, I have blamed and mocked him.
I do not know his name, but call him Homeless.
I do not know what has injured him.
In fact, I do not know him at all.
I have only seen him—sleeping in doorways, wandering aimlessly—staring up at me with hollow eyes.
He barely survives, yet his legacy, as Your Child, is to thrive.
My blaming cannot stir him from his pain, but only increase it.
So I release all blame now and call for compassion to fill me.
Fill me with Your unstoppable energy, Lord.
Fill me with energy that transforms.
Fill me with the desire to pray for him and never lose sight of his Divinity—or mine.
As I pray, positive change occurs in him and in me, for You work miracles everywhere.
I am so grateful that I have a home; that I have a place in which to eat, bathe, rest and love.
I cannot imagine the chaos of living without one.
Therefore, Lord, I declare You intervene on behalf of this beloved.
You fill this one, who is so dear to You and has so many faces—male, female, old and young—with the knowledge of Your most intimate love.
For this is Your Vision: that each of us know our own worth and be nourished.
You enter the hearts, minds and bodies of my brothers and sisters, and awaken within them knowledge of their holiness and gifts.
You call them—and me—to The Work You have laid out for us.
I am filled with Your compassion, O God—so that you are able to use me for the betterment of all.
I commit to Your Holy Vision for the world—and I am lifted
As I am lifted—all humanity is lifted, for macrocosm mirrors microcosm.
Together we rise into attractor fields of nourishment where each of us has a home in which our hearts and bodies find comfort.
Thank You for Your Love, which breaks all boundaries and moves Heaven and Earth for us so that no one is known by the name "homeless."
And so it is.


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