Wednesday, November 18, 2009

St. Elizabeth of Hungary

She was an ancestor of Queen Elisabeth of Belgium. 
Elizabeth had always shown a strong inclination toward piety as well as a great love of helping the needy and downtrodden. She opened a hospital for the poor in one of her castles and ran a soup kitchen. She was passionately in love with her husband, which is one of her most appealing aspects - she was a saint but she was also very much a woman.
In her memoirs, Queen Marie-José of Italy, daughter of King Albert I and Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, recalls that her mother admired this saint and encouraged the young Marie-José to read Comte de Montalembert's famous Vie de Sainte Elisabeth de Hongrie (1836). I think the Belgian queen definitely resembled her distant forebear in her charitable works, and also in her passion for her husband!

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