A young Saint and
D ECAUSE St. Elizabeth of Hun gary is down in the missal as a widow, we do not often reckon her among the young saints. Yet she was no older than St. Teresa of Lisieux and barely 24 when she died. Betrothed at four, married at 14, a widow with three young children when she was 20, she certainly had more than her share of suffering in a short life. No modern saint can challenge her record, for she was canonised by Pope Gregory IX four years after her death. Het youngest daughter, Gertrude, was only eight when her mother was proclaimed a saint. Holiness often seems to run in families, and St. Elizabeth of Hungary had an aunt, St. Hedwig, canonised, and also her great-niece, St. Elizabeth of Portugal. Franciscan tertiaries should honour her feast on November 19 with fitting solemnity, for she was one of the first of the tertiaries and is their patron saint.