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Papal audience topic is St. Elizabeth of Hungary

October 20, 2010

In his catechetical talk for his regular weekly audience on October 20—before revealing the names of the 24 new cardinals he will elevate at a consistory in November—Pope Benedict XVI spoke about St. Elizabeth of Hungary.

Born into the royal family of Hungary in 1207, St. Elizabeth was married to King Ludwig of Thuringia. Although it was arranged for political reasons, the marriage became a loving union, the Pope said.

After her husband’s death, St. Elizabeth “spent her last three years in the hospital she founded, serving the sick and attending the dying,” the Pope recalled. “She became what we would call a consecrated woman living in the world.” She was still a young woman when she contracted a fever and died in 1231. But her reputation for holiness was so widespread that Pope Gregory IX declared her a saint just four years later. Pope Benedict remarked that during her husband’s reign St. Elizabeth "behaved before God as she behaved toward her subjects." She was, he said, "a true example for everyone who holds positions of leadership.”

At the conclusion of his talk the Pope greeted the English-speaking pilgrims who remain in Rome, having come for the canonization of Sts. André Bessette and Mary MacKillop.


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  • Posted by: Chestertonian - Oct. 20, 2010 8:34 PM ET USA

    A timely reminder prior to the elections to all running for office. The general title of office holders is "public servant", something most seem to forget as soon as they finish saying that they " . . solemnly swear . . . "