Monday, November 17, 2014

Close to the hidden Jesus...

St Elizabeth of Hungary, when as a little girl used to play about the palace with her companions, would always pick a spot near the chapel so that every now and then, without being noticed, she might stop by the chapel door, kiss the lock, and say to Jesus,
"My Jesus, I am playing, but I am not forgetting You. 
Bless me and my companions. Goodbye."

St Elizabeth of Hungary
Wife, mother
Secular Franciscan Order
FEAST DAY - November 17
The Charity of St. Elizabeth of Hungary by Edmund Blair Leighton (1895) 
"How could I bear a crown of gold when the Lord bears a crown of thorns? And bears it for me!"  - St Elizabeth of Hungary
From a letter of Conrad of Marburg, St Elizabeth's spiritual director:

"Elizabeth recognised and loved Christ in the poor.  ... She was a lifelong friend of the poor and gave herself entirely to relieving the hungry. She ordered that one of her castles should be converted into a hospital in which she gathered many of the weak and feeble. She generously gave alms to all who were in need, not only in that place but in all the territories of her husband’s empire. ...
Twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, Elizabeth went to visit the sick. She personally cared for those who were particularly repulsive; to some she gave food, to others clothing; some she carried on her own shoulders, and performed many other kindly services. Her husband, of happy memory, gladly approved of these charitable works. ...
Apart from those active good works, I declare before God that I have seldom seen a more contemplative woman. When she was coming from private prayer, some religious men and women often saw her face shining marvelously and light coming from her eyes like the rays of the sun. ...

Before her death I heard her confession. When I asked what should be done about her goods and possessions, she replied that anything which seemed to be hers belonged to the poor. She asked me to distribute everything except one worn out dress in which she wished to be buried. When all this had been decided, she received the Body of our Lord. Afterward, until vespers, she spoke often of the holiest things she had heard in sermons. Then, she devoutly commended to God all who were sitting near her, and as if falling into a gentle sleep, she died."
Continuing in a series of descriptions of the great female figures of the Middle Ages, Pope Benedict XVI (October 21, 2010) spoke of this princess who shows how a life of "faith and friendship with Christ creates a sense of justice, equality of all, of the rights of others... which creates love, charity ... and from this comes the hope and certainty that we are loved by Christ and the love of Christ awaits us, and so enables us to imitate Christ, to see Christ in others. Saint Elizabeth invites us to find Christ, love Christ, have faith and so find true justice, love and joy that one day we will be immersed in God's love."

St Elizabeth of Hungary, pray for us!

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