Elisabeth of Hungary (of Thuringia)

Hungarian Princess, landgravine of Thuringia due to her marriage with Louis IV. As a widow, she entered the Third Order of St. Francis and devoted herself to charitable practice. She was proclaimed a saint by pope Gregory IX in 1235.

The daughter of king Andrew II of Hungary and of his first wife, Gertrude of Merania, in 1211 she was betrothed to Herman I, the first-born son of the landgrave of Thuringia, to seal the alliance of the two dynasties fighting against emperor Otto IV: she was then sent to the Wartburg, the court of Thuringia, where she was educated by her future mother-in-law, Sophia of Bavaria. After her betrothed Herman’s death in 1213, in 1221 she married his younger brother Louis IV, called the Saint, who had inherited his father’s dominions in 1217. From their union three children were born: Herman, Sophia (future wife of Henry II of Brabant) and Gertrude, who became abbess of the monastery of Altenberg. On 11 September 1227 Louis IV died at Otranto, while he was waiting to sail for the Holy Land with Frederick II, where he was en route to join the sixth crusade. The widow, who was already active in charitable practice, retired in the hospital she had got built in 1228 at Marburg, where she devoted herself to care for the inmates and the sick until her death.

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